Tax Day 2018: Here are some last-minute tips

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Tax Day 2018: Here are some last-minute tips
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With just days left to go, the 2018 tax season is officially nearing its end. Whether you’ve hired a tax preparer or filed them yourself, in a short while you won’t have to worry about IRS forms and itemized deductions again until next year (unless you file for an extension).
With the tax-filing deadline set for April 17 this year, if you haven’t filed by now, your window is getting smaller by the minute. So what better time than now to go over some last-minute tax tips to make sure your financial house is in order?

The Internal Revenue Service website remains a ready resource for people with questions related to their taxes. IRS.gov/account provides taxpayers with basic information to file, pay or monitor their tax payments. The Withholding Calculator can aid taxpayers by letting them know whether they’re having enough taxes withheld from their paychecks.

Here are 7 last-minute tax tips to keep in mind

The IRS says that it collected in excess of a staggering $3.3 trillion in taxes in 2016, the latest numbers available. That means people are forking over big money this time of year. Here’s some last-minute tips to help you make sure you’re paying your fair share, but no more:

Did you know the IRS has a little-known provision for people who can’t pay in full?

If you simply don’t have the money to pay your taxes and it looks like you never will, you can apply for an “offer in compromise,” which allows the IRS to settle for less than the full amount you owe. Use this Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool to see if you are eligible for an offer in compromise.

Here’s how NOT to get audited

If you have a dedicated space in your home that you use for business, you may be able to take advantage of the home office deduction.  But you need to be careful.  You have to figure out exactly how much square footage is dedicated to your business. Find out how to do that, plus 16 other ways not to be audited by the IRS.

What happens when the IRS makes an error

Believe it or not, the IRS makes boo boos, too. If you believe there’s an error on your tax bill, the agency encourages taxpayers to write to the IRS office that sent you the tax notice. You can also call the number listed on the notice or bill. It’s important that you do this within the time frame stated on the notice.

What to do if you owe the IRS money

As much as we like it when tax season rolls around and we’re in line for a big refund, it can turn ugly really quickly when we find out we owe the IRS. As with any sophisticated organization, the IRS offers many ways to pay. Those methods include debit or credit card, IRS Direct Pay online, the IRS2GO mobile app, E-filing, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or via check or money order.

Watch out for bogus tax refund checks

They say few things are as certain as death and taxes, but tax scams should be right up there. One that is growing more prominent is the use of bogus tax refund checks. If you fall victim, keep in mind that you may have to close your bank account. You should contact your tax preparer and also your financial institution. Here are seven other tax scams to look out for.

How to check the status of your federal tax refund

Eager for your money? You’re not alone. Thankfully the IRS has made it easy to track when that tax refund is supposed to hit our account or mail box. To access this tool, visit irs.gov/refunds and click “Check My Refund Status.” You can also track a refund using the IRS2Go app, which is available for download from the App Store or Google Play.

What actually happens if you get audited?

We told you how NOT to get audited, but what happens when you do? Will agents in black suits and dark glasses surround your home or place of business? Not quite. Here’s a step-by-step of the process along with what you can do.

For many of us, it’s a nervous time of year, in part due to rumors and hearsay floating around. With that in mind, here are several common tax myths debunked.

RELATED: Clark your life: A guide to a healthier, wealthier 2018

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Craig Johnson is a conscious money-saver who stills read paperback books and listens to vinyl. He likes to write about how technology is making things easier and more affordable — but also sometimes more dangerous — for the modern consumer.
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