Last-minute tax tips

Posted at 10:47 AM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 14:11:45-04

This year’s tax deadline is just around the corner and if you still haven’t filed your return, you’re not alone.

Almost a quarter of filers are waiting until the last minute, according to TurboTax.

Some taxpayers may be delaying this year due to confusion about new tax laws.

Complicated returns may need the help of a pro, but for simple returns, e-filing is not just the fastest option, it also allows procrastinators to go down to the wire – 11:59 p.m. on April 15.

It’s not too late to take advantage of the federal government’s Free File program.

Individuals with income $66,000 or less have tax software options to file federal and state returns at no cost.

All filers should double check details to avoid mistakes and a delayed refund.

If you need more time, you can request an extension, but you must file the extension request no later than midnight on April 15. Remember, an extension to file doesn’t include an extension to pay. You must make your best estimate of what you owe and pay by the April deadline or face interest costs and penalties.

Additionally, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) warns taxpayers to keep an eye out for scammers seeking to steal refunds and identities as the tax deadline nears. Scammers often prey on taxpayers by impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or FTB employees.

Taxpayers should be suspicious of the following:

  • Any phone call or email requesting passwords or information about credit cards and bank accounts. FTB and IRS agents never ask for these details.
  • Threats to contact local police or other law enforcement if a tax debt is not paid.
  • Demands for payment by third-party or pre-paid debit cards.

If you receive a threatening or suspicious phone call, the FTB says you should simply hang up.

You can report scam calls, along with suspicious letters and emails, to the FTB online or by calling 800-852-5711.