Tax day deadline: Last-minute tips to file your taxes

Tax day deadline: Last-minute tips to file your taxes

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Many tax preparers are planning to stay open late Tuesday, April 15 to make sure your slate is clean when it comes to paying your taxes on time and answer any questions you may have.

Taxpayers like Lawanda Holland waited until the last day to pay Uncle Sam this tax season.

"Well I always break out even and never get anything back so I always wait until the last minute. I always say I'm going to come but I didn't come early," said Lawanda Holland.

But this year, waiting has proven to be a good thing for her.

"I got some money back this time, so yeah that was a good thing," said Holland

The Goodwill Career Center on Macon Road opened 30 minutes earlier to help people beat the clock on filing their taxes. If you still need to file, there's a few things you need to know.

"You owe a penalty if you file late. The truth of that is that if you owe taxes and file after April 15 that's when you incurred a penalty. If you don't owe taxes then you don't owe a penalty," said Bridgette Outten, Communication Specialist, Goodwill Career Center.

"If you're not out of the country or having some kind of hardship, you need to go ahead and file your taxes," said Cedric Mitchell, Supreme Fast Tax.

Supreme Fast Tax has already seen a week worth's of clients Wednesday and some clients are asking if they can file an extension.

"You can file an extension today, if you're military it's automatic (military members serving overseas or in war zone). You don't have to do anything until you come back to the country. You got 180 days from that point," said Mitchell.

Tax preparers say you can make a payment arrangement online without talking to the IRS.

For those dropping their taxes off at the post office, your envelope must be postmarked by 11:59 p.m.

"Make sure you get a receipt from the post office or perhaps pay for overnight shipping so you can show you did send your taxes on April 15th," said Outten.

And if there is something you forget to add on your taxes, you have up to three years to make a change. You could be leaving behind extra money.

For anyone still needing help, Goodwill will lock their doors at 8 p.m. Supreme will stay as late 9 p.m..

The IRS is doing fewer audits, the lowest since the 1980's due to federal budget cuts.

Tax prepares say most people wait until April 15th because of procrastination.

But some people file their federal tax return late or on the last day because they owe money. The IRS says the majority of those who file taxes, receive a refund.The IRS expects to process 150-million returns by the end of tax season.

For those who did not have insurance of any kind for the 2014 tax season, you could have some penalties but there are some options.

One option is called a "Special Enrollment Period" which is created if you did not have private health coverage or through the Affordable Care Act.

If you already filed your tax returns and paid the penalty, you can still enroll in the marketplace coverage for rest of 2015 to avoid additional fees.

"From now until April 30th you can avoid additional fees for next year, so if you didn't realize there will be a penalty and you were uninsured and you didn't enroll in the Affordable Care Act. You do have time to enroll and avoid that situation next year," said Outten.

If you don't have healthcare you're going to pay a penalty. If you make over $28,500, it's one percent of your income. That can really add up," said Mitchell.

And tax payers say most people didn't realize there would be a penalty.

For a lot of taxpayers, all you have to do is check a box on your tax return indicating you had health coverage for all of 2014.

Copyright 2015 WTVM. All rights reserved.