Federal and state income taxes are due today. Michelle Bachtel from H&R Block says you need to file an extension if you can’t finish your return. Doing so gives you six additional months to file but does not defer payments due. If you owe, pay as much as you can. Otherwise you will be assessed interest and penalties from April 15th.
Bachtel recommends filing returns electronically. She says e-filed returns are usually accepted within 24 to 48 hours. Quicker processing means quicker refunds. The average refund of an e-filed return is dispersed in about 14 to 21 days, versus 10 to 14 weeks for a paper-filed return. Bachtel says the accuracy rate of an e-filed return is higher because of the software that is used. According to the IRS, 20 percent of paper returns have errors in them as opposed to less than one percent of e-filed returns.
Filing electronically also gives you more time to get your taxes done. E-filed returns will be accepted as timely filed until midnight. Paper-filed returns must be postmarked by today, which means they have to be mailed before the post office closes.
If you do mail your taxes, be sure your return is signed. Another common mistake on both paper and electronically filed returns is transposing Social Security numbers.