Tax scams are at their peak as filing deadline approaches

PHOENIX -
You have very little time left to put off filing your taxes! The IRS is urging you to get moving if you haven't filed yet.  
 
Recently, the agency warned both tax professionals and taxpayers of last-minute phishing email scams. 
 
As the date to get it done gets closer, the scams get more frequent.  
 
Here are eight last minute filing tips from the IRS:
 
  • Review tax returns carefully. Taxpayers who rush to beat the deadline may miss a tax benefit or, worse, make a mistake. Errors usually delay tax refunds and could cause the IRS to send a letter.
  • Validate e-signature. If a taxpayer changed tax software products for 2017, they may need their prior-year adjusted gross income to validate their electronic signature. Always keep a copy of tax returns.
  • Visit IRS.gov. Go online for tax information and resources. The Interactive Tax Assistant is a useful resource.
  • Use IRS Free File. Taxpayers who made $64,000 or less can use free tax software to prepare their federal tax return. Free File Fillable Forms is available for those who made more than that. These are electronic versions of IRS paper forms.
  • File electronically. Kick the paper habit and e-file. IRS e-file is safe, easy and accurate. Taxpayers are 20 times less likely to make a mistake with an e-filed return compared to filing a paper return. Tax software catches and corrects common paper filing errors. It also alerts users to overlooked tax credits and deductions.
  • File on time. Taxpayers who owe but can’t pay in full by the April 18 due date should still file on time and pay as much as possible. This will reduce potential penalties and interest charges. For unpaid taxes, people may apply for an installment agreement to pay over time.
  • Request an extension of time to file. People can request a six-month extension electronically through tax software, including FreeFile, by using Form 4868 Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. An extension of time to file a tax return is not an extension of time to pay taxes owed. Be sure to e-file or mail the form and pay an estimate of any tax due by the April 18 due date to avoid penalty and interest charges. 
  • Visit a local IRS Office. All IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers now operate by appointment. Taxpayers can find most answers online at IRS.gov, but if they need in-person assistance, they will need to make an appointment. 

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