DES MOINES, Iowa -- Tuesday, April 18th is the last day to file a tax return on time or submit an extension form.
Christopher Miller with the Internal Revenue Service said the best way to file taxes quickly is to use the Free File tool on the IRS website to e-file a tax return.
He said if you are missing paperwork or can’t file your taxes for some other reason it is important to file an extension, but an extension does not give you more time to pay owed taxes.
“We always tell people that the failure to file penalty is ten times greater than the failure to pay penalty. So if you find that maybe you just can’t pay your entire tax bill, you should still file your tax return,” Miller said.
He added, filing later can mean a scammer has already filed your return and you don’t even know it.
“When someone files a tax return early on in the season, that’s one way you can try to get it in before any of the bad guys might try to file your tax return. But of course, if you are in this situation and you have one day left that option is not available. But that’s okay we still tell people to file normally as you would,” Miller said.
When filing electronically you will be alerted if someone has filed a return already under your name so that you can contact the IRS about the problem.
Miller said it’s important to remember that even though tax season is almost over, scammers are still trying to contact people because many are still expecting to hear from the IRS.
“This is how it works someone would call you on the phone, they claim to be from the IRS and they say that you owe a tax bill and if you don’t pay immediately by prepaid debit card, wire transfer or a gift card, they threaten you with arrest or deportation or loss of your driver’s license. And they become very abusive. We just want people to know that’s not how the IRS does business and that should be a red flag if you get a call like that,” Miller said.
There are several ways to report scams on the IRS website if you receive a fraudulent call or email.