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IRS Tips for Filing Taxes

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By : Richard Hector    99 or more times read
With the filing deadline fast approaching, the IRS is encouraging taxpayers to file their taxes or request an extension. In 2011, taxpayers have a few extra days to file, as the usual filing deadline of April 15 falls on a holiday weekend in Washington, D.C. This means that taxpayers have until Monday, April 18, to file their tax returns or to file for an extension. The IRS is also letting taxpayers know that they can utilize various filing options that are now available, in addition to taking advantage of various tax credits that still apply to 2010 taxpayers. To ensure that you file on time and get all the credits that are available to you, including your piece of the home incentives pie, here are a few tips.

Tax Credit Opportunities

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides a number of credits of which taxpayers should be aware as they file. These include a range of credits designed to add money back into the economy by putting it in the hands of taxpayers. For instance, the Homebuyer Credit gives back as much as $8,000 to homeowners who completed the purchase of a new home by September of 2010. The American Opportunity Credit returns as much as $2,500 for educational costs, including books, school fees, and even tuition costs. The Residential Energy Property Credit provides up to $1,500 for homeowners who applied renewable energy features to their homes.

IRS Free File

Don’t have tax filing software? Don’t worry. The IRS provides Free File software as a cost-free tax program (for federal taxes, not state taxes) that walks taxpayers through the filing process and ensures that they receive the credits due them. Free File software is available to all taxpayers who show an Adjusted Gross Income of $58,000 or less. With Free File, eligible taxpayers can also request a direct deposit option to have the tax return sent straight to their accounts.

Electronic Filing

Electronic filing is the way to go if you want your tax refund as quickly as possible. The IRS electronic filing system is safe and guarantees taxpayers identity protection, and the tax refund goes straight to your bank account. Free File provides for electronic filing – for everyone, not just those using the Free File software – and most tax software programs, as well as tax accountants, can select electronic filing as well.

Filing an Extension

For those who are unable to file by the deadline of April 18, filing an extension is the best option. Taxpayers who need an extension should complete IRS Form 4868 or request the extension through Free File. The extension gives taxpayers an extra six months, until October 17, to complete the filing.

Looming Deadlines

It is important to remember that the extension is a filing extension for the 2010 tax return only. Taxes that are due must be paid on time, or taxpayers will be penalized for overdue taxes. If you expect to be paying taxes to the IRS instead of receiving money back from the IRS, be sure to complete the filing by April 18, to avoid paying overdue penalties. As the tax system can often seem confusing, the IRS has a network of volunteers who can assist taxpayers with completing their tax returns.
Richard Hector is the owner of Lucky 13 Home Investments, which is an independent real estate firm committed to providing outstanding service and value to the first time homebuyer. For the last 10 years we have been widely recognized in purchasing real estate in South Florida. Our purpose is to revitalize the communities we live in by buying vacant foreclosed homes and remodeling them for families eager to take advantage of today’s housing prices. For more information, visit

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