Last-minute tax tips

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 9 at 11:21 AM

PHOENIX -- The clock is ticking. The deadline to file your taxes is almost here. You actually get two extra days this year because April 15, which is traditionally tax day, falls on a Sunday and Monday is Emancipation Day, a bank holiday in Washington. That means the deadline is Tuesday, April 17.

If you, like many people, are hustling to finish up and file your taxes, Lee Cunningham of Jackson-Hewitt has some helpful tips, including a rundown of the most common errors.

  • Selecting the wrong filing status
  • Math errors
  • Claiming ineligible exemptions
  • Forgetting to claim some deductions (i.e. lifestyle changes)
  • Neglecting to sign your forms

Organization, says Cunningham, is key.

"If you're planning on writing off your deductions -- you know, mileage, etc. -- you do have to make a really good effort to make sure you're organized and have something, in case the IRS comes calling, that can substantiate what you put on your return."

If you're going it alone, tax forms and instructions are available online at IRS.gov.

While you can request an extension, you need to remember that the exemption applies only to filing, not paying if you owe.

"If you think you're going to owe, you need to make a reasonable guesstimate of what what you're going to owe and try to send in as much of that in as you can," Cunningham explained.

If you're getting a refund, you can check its progress online with Where's My Refund.

For information on Jackson Hewitt tax services, visit their location at 8020 N 19th Ave., Phoenix, call  602-589-7103 or go online to www.JacksonHewitt.com.

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