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Last Minute Tax Filing Tips

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The deadline for filing 2014 federal tax returns is April 15th.  According to WalletHub 28% of Americans wait until April to file their tax returns.

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program is free and available to people over the age of 60 and people with low to moderate incomes. Roughly 250 volunteers will be at 80 sites in Iowa to help. Most of the sites take walk-ins only. This late in the season volunteers say you can expect to wait at least an hour for help. However the actual process takes less than 15 minutes for most. Last year the foundation helped 28,000 Iowans file their taxes.

Some of the most common mistakes people make are forgetting to bring all the right paperwork, selecting the wrong filing status, and basic math errors. To avoid errors, experts recommend filing electronically, using a trusted site. Vignovich also says too many people wait till the last-minute. “They come in and tell me, ‘Well I knew I was going to owe money, so I put it off’”, said Vignovich.

Filing for an extension gives you an extra  6 months, but any money you owe the government is still due on April 15th. If you do not pay you could incur interest and penalties. "However if they know they're going to get a refund, you don't have to file an extension… you've got three years to claim your refund," said Vignovich.

If you know you will not be able to pay the money you owe on time, officials recommend calling the IRS and setting up an installment agreement. The IRS also provides a free filing system online.