IRS offers advice for last-minute tax filers

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The federal government has useful tools and tips for last-minute tax filers who are struggling to meet the April 15 deadline.

The Internal Revenue Service offers free tax filing software via its website, www.irs.gov. The software is available for anyone earning less than $66,000 in taxable income in 2018. For those who earned more, free fillable forms are available.

According to the IRS, most people will be issued refunds in fewer than 21 days. If you have e-filed a return, you can check the status of your refund within 24 hours. If you filed a paper return, it can take up to four weeks before the status becomes available. The website’s online tool tracker displays progress of a return through three phases: Return Received; Refund Approved and Refund Sent. In order to use the tracker, you must have the taxpayer’s Social Security number, tax filing status, such as single, married, head of household, and the exact amount of the tax refund claimed on the return.

If you find that you owe taxes, you can either mail a check or money order made out to the U.S. Treasury, make an electronic payment via IRS Direct Pay or use an approved payment processor that will charge an additional fee.

The IRS encourages everyone to file their 2018 tax return by the tax filing deadline regardless of whether they can pay in full. Individuals who owe $50,000 or less in combined income tax, penalties and interest and businesses that owe $25,000 or less in payroll tax and have filed all tax returns may qualify for an online payment agreement. Most taxpayers qualify for this option, and an agreement can usually be set up quickly on the website.

Taxpayers also may delay collections if the IRS determines they are unable to pay until their financial condition improves, or they may enter into an Offer in Compromise, which settles the taxpayer’s liability for less than the full amount owed.

To combat the stress of the tax deadline, Kona Ice will host its annual National Chill Out Day by handing out free shaved ice on April 15.

“It’s a way to cure the community’s stress related to Tax Day because there is no taxation without relaxation,” the company said in a press release. A Kona Ice truck will be offering the sweet treats from 2-4 p.m. at Piggly Wiggly, located at 12536 Sanford St. in Bailey.

For more information and tax resources, visit www.irs.gov.