Alaska tax tidbit: cruise tax cut
Happy Tax Freedom Day 2010!

Final tax weekend tips

Spring is here, meaning a young taxpayer's fancy turns to thoughts of finishing that freakin' 1040.

Income_tax_frustrastion (2) Yes, this is your final weekend before your 1040 is due. So what better way to spend it than finishing your return? Don't answer that. It was rhetorical and I have a pretty good idea of what you'd say (do you kiss your mother with that mouth!?).

But it's a task that must be taken care of by next Thursday, either by filing your 2009 return or getting an extension.

So here are few tips that might help you salvage at least some of your weekend.

First, commit to filing something. Just letting the deadline pass without sending in your return or Form 4868 for an extension is just plain stupid. The IRS penalties for not filing anything are tougher than those for filing but not paying all you owe. So send Uncle Sam something.

Remember, the extension is for forms only. If you owe the IRS, you still need to calculate what you'll owe and send that, or as much as you can, along with your extension request.

You have lots of extension delivery options. You can file an extension electronically. The major tax software programs offer that option.

There's also the specialty service, which will give you a 25 percent discount off the service if you enter the code DONTMESS25. (Disclaimer: I get nothing from the company for passing along this offer.)

Or you can spend 44 cents and mail your extension request. I recommend, however, that you pay the Postal Service a tad more to send it certified, especially if you're making a payment.

You also might be able to send the extension electronically via the IRS' Free File program using one of the private software partners of the tax agency's free fillable forms option.

Of course, if you're sending a payment along via credit card, you'll still have to pay the processing fee for that payment.

Take a deep breath. Once you've decided to get more time, or even if you're still committed to being done with your taxes by April 15, the key now is not to panic.

Getting in a hurry not only ups your personal stress level, it also usually leads to mistakes. You definitely don't want that, as errors will mean you'll end up dealing with your taxes for even longer.

To avoid that, here are some prior posts that should help:

Get your daily does of tax tips. Also be sure to check out the Daily Tax Tip posted at the top right corner of the blog. If you missed any, you can check out the full tips list, which will be updated each weekday through April 15.

Remember your state tax collector, too. And definitely don't forget your state taxes. Most states that collect income taxes from residents follow the IRS filing deadline.

If you need state forms or info, you can find links at our State Tax Departments page.

There's always additional info. And just for fun, here's some more last-minute filing scoop from around the Internet and blog tax worlds:

Are you feeling a little better about your taxes now? I hope so. And if it's any comfort, I'll be spending my weekend doing our taxes, too!

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Jerry, you need to call the TurboTax help number and have them help you track it. Kay

Jerry M. Cole

I think I completed federal and state tax with Turbo tax but have never received the e-mail confermation. please reply.

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