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IRS Offers Last-Minute Tax Tips

April 6, 2019, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated April 7, 9:33 AM
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With the April 15 due date for filing taxes approaching, the IRS is urging taxpayers to file an accurate return on time, even if they owe but cannot pay in full.

Those who owe may qualify for a waiver  of the estimated penalty that normally applies. See the instructions on Form 2210 for details.

Taxpayers who can’t pay all their taxes have several options including:

  • Online Payment Agreement  — 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. An agreement can be set up on IRS.gov in minutes.
  • Installment Agreement  — Installment agreements are paid by direct deposit from a bank account or a payroll deduction.
  • Delaying Collection — If the IRS determines a taxpayer is unable to pay, it may delay collection until the taxpayer’s financial situation improves.
  • Offer in Compromise (OIC) — Qualifying taxpayers can enter into an agreement with the IRS that settles their tax liability for less than the full amount owed.

Check the Status of a Refund

The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Using the Where’s My Refund? online tool, taxpayers can start checking on the status of their return within 24 hours after the IRS receives an e-filed return or four weeks after the taxpayer mailed a paper return.

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Check Withholding

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The IRS encourages taxpayers to review their tax withholding to make any needed adjustments early in 2019. Taxpayers should check their withholding each year and when life changes occur, such as marriage, childbirth, adoption or buying a home.

Doing a Paycheck Checkup can help taxpayers avoid having too little or too much tax withheld from their paychecks.

Making Tax Payments

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Taxpayers should visit the pay tab at IRS.gov to see their payment options. Most tax preparation software gives taxpayers a variety of payment options including:

  • IRS Direct Pay offers taxpayers a free, fast and secure way to make an electronic payment from their bank account to the U.S. Treasury.
  • Use an approved payment processor to pay by credit or debit card for a fee.
  • Mail checks or money orders made out to the U.S. Treasury.
  • Make monthly or quarterly tax payments using IRS Direct Pay or through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

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