Monday, April 16, 2012

How to file your tax return on time

Due to busy schedules and for unseen reasons some of us wait until the last minute to file our taxes -- which this year are due by Tuesday, April 17. Here are some simple tips to make sure yours is sent in on time:

Filing Paper Returns:

1. USPS - Postal mail. GET IT IN THE MAIL BY APRIL 17th. Your paper return is filed on time if it is mailed in an envelope that is properly addressed, has enough postage, and is postmarked by April 17. Many of the post office's will remain open until midnight on tax day so returns can be postmarked by this date.

TIP: Send it registered mail or certified mail

2. Private delivery services. If you use a private delivery service designated by the IRS to send your return, the postmark date generally is the date the delivery service records in its database or marks on the mailing label. The delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of this date.

IRS-designated private delivery services:

DHL Express: DHL Same Day.
Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First.

United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.
Filing electronic returns on time

File Electronically with IRS e-file:

Your return is considered filed on time if the company that electronically transmits the return to the IRS postmarks the transmission by April 17. The date and time in your time zone controls whether your electronically filed return is timely.

The electronic postmark serves as proof of when the authorized electronic return transmitter received the transmission of your electronically filed return on its host system.

Still can't get it in on time? File an extension:

Filing an extension is super easy. The deadline to file your 2011 return is April 17, 2012. Form 4868 will extend the deadline by six months. With an extension, your deadline to file a tax return is October 15, 2012. However, an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. If you owe, you should pay the IRS by the April 17th deadline to avoid penalties and interest. For more filing deadlines, see the Tax Calendar.

Happy Filing!

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