Help! May 17 Tax Deadline Is Fast Approaching, And I’m Still Not Done With My Taxes

Last Updated on June 1, 2021

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The May 17 tax deadline is soon approaching, and a ton of people are biting their nails.

Haven’t finished your taxes? Don’t panic! Here’s what you can do.

Extend The Deadline:

The last day is soon approaching, but if you think you need more time to file your tax return, file for an extension. You will automatically be approved for the October 15 deadline. Use Form 4868 to request the extended deadline. If you’re using tax software to file, the program likely provides this form already. Here’s how it works:

The tax refund process is nothing to worry about. If you know you’re due a refund but you’re too swamped to file, hold off a bit. The money isn’t going anywhere. 

Individuals impacted by a severe storm already have an extension. Those victims in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, or Texas can go past the May 17 deadline. The last day to file for victims of February’s winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana is June 15, while those in Kentucky affected by the February 27 storms have until June 30. Victims of the March 15 storm in Alabama can relax until August 2.

If you file for the extended deadline, you still have to pay the taxes you owe. The extension is only to file for tax refunds, but you will need to send the IRS a check by May 17 for any outstanding taxes. If you don’t your bill will increase from fines and interest rates until you pay it all off.

Set up an agreement with the IRS that gives you 120 extra days to make your payment. They don’t charge a dime to set it up, but you will need to pay interest and fees on your outstanding balance. This should drastically reduce the fines if you need more time to come up with the money.

File Fast:

If you want to bite the bullet and file fast before the May 17 tax deadline, there are quicker ways to get things done that won’t throw off your busy schedule.

Tax software can be a lifesaver, but there are still people afraid to do things electronically. Don’t be! Cut out the three – five business day ordeal with snail mail and sign on to sites like TurboTax or TaxAct to quickly and efficiently file your taxes.

Trust the IRS and avoid these mistakes that delay refunds or disrupt processing.

Report it all… Combine all income documents like W2s, 1099-MISC, 1099-NEC, or 1099-G. Unemployment checks are taxable, too. So don’t forget to add it all together and file it as one. Attach the documents properly and make sure the digital forms aren’t corrupt.

Don’t Forget Your Credit Documents! To claim tax credits, you’ll need forms. Though this might increase the time it takes to file, it could reduce your tax bill significantly. Forms like the healthcare Premium Tax Credit (Form 8962) or educational tuition credits (Form 1098-T).

Crypto Is Taxed Too so be sure to answer correctly whether you “received, sold, sent, exchanged or otherwise acquired any financial interest in any virtual currency.” This includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Dogecoin. Of course, it only counts if you’ve sold it. Buying doesn’t need to be reported. If it made it into your bank, you need to answer “yes.”

Double-Check … Twice!

When filing…

  • Avoid typos. Double-check that your name, address, and all number inputs are correct. Once you’ve double-checked it, check it again!
  • Include all tax forms. Make sure you ensure that all electronic forms are easily accessible and aren’t corrupted. If they are scanned documents, ensure they are clearly visible and include all parts of the form.
  • Don’t rush. Though the deadline is soon approaching, you can do more damage by rushing through and making mistakes. Carve out time this weekend and get it done. No distractions, no mistakes. File them and be done. Until next year!