The April 15 deadline is fast approaching, and almost half of American taxpayers (approximately 68 million) have yet to file their tax returns, according to the IRS’ latest stats.

For those who procrastinated, the key is to be prepared to ensure the last-minute rush doesn’t result in any costly mistakes or delays on a return.

Local tax experts from Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in the Sacramento area offer these last-minute tips to help late filers meet the April 15 deadline and get the most on their returns:

  • Gather all necessary tax documents — Jackson Hewitt provides an online checklist of items needed for filing a tax return.
  • File electronically — E-file your tax return when you file this year. Not only is it faster and more accurate, e-filing is also safer by providing a confirmation of receipt.
  • Don’t overlook any deductions and credits — In addition to the tax law changes, don’t forget about any life changes that may drive new tax benefits.
  • Ask about extensions — By requesting an extension, you can postpone your return until October 15, 2013. Taxpayers should keep in mind that an extension does not give additional time to pay any taxes owed. A professional tax preparer can help assess whether there are taxes due and determine whether filing an extension is needed.

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