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Late Filing Taxes? You’re Not Alone
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If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you’re not alone. One quarter of Americans wait until the last two weeks to get taxes done and filed. At this point, you have a choice: get them done quickly and file before April 15, or ask for an extension. If you want to get it over with and do your taxes now, you’ll need to gather your W-2 or 1099 forms, 1099 statements for interest, Social Security number, and your pile of receipts if you plan to deduct expenses, Medical Savings Account information, self-employed health insurance and home-office costs, and real-estate taxes. Decide if you’ll use a tax preparer. If so, make a call right away to be sure there’s still time in what’s likely to be a busy
March 21, 2014
schedule. You’ll likely save money if you do the organizing yourself, but be sure you have time to get that done before accepting the appointment. If you want to do your taxes yourself with a computer software program, read the details online for programs like TurboTax, H&R Block and TaxACT. Be sure your computer is powerful enough to handle the software by reading the requirements before you buy. Most of the programs are easy enough to follow. Some are better than others when it comes to assistance if you get into a jam. TurboTax, for example, has an online question and answer area where you can search for similar questions others have asked, or you can ask your own question. If this is your first time using computer tax software, be sure to get the program updates. Follow the steps and let the program ask you questions, even if they don’t seem to apply. Go through all the steps, entering information as you go. At the end you’ll be asked if you want to print out the return to be mailed or if you want to e-file. If for some reason there’s just no way you’ll get your taxes completed on time, you can file for a six-month extension. Beware: This is an extension to file your complete return, not to pay the taxes you owe. Failing to file will get you a penalty. Failing to pay on time gets you penalties and interest and scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service. You’ll need Form 4868 (available to print out at www. irs.gov) to request a filing extension and to pay your estimated tax due. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.
• On March 31, 1776, future first lady Abigail Adams writes to her husband urging him to “remember the ladies” when drafting a new code of laws for the fledgling nation. Abigail pondered if and how the rights of women would be addressed in an American constitution. • On April 4, 1841, only 31 days after assuming office, William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, dies at the White House. At his inauguration, Harrison declined to wear a jacket or hat and made a two-hour speech. Soon afterward, he developed pneumonia. • On April 5, 1859, naturalist Charles Darwin sends his publishers the first three chapters of “Origin of Species,” which will become one of the most influential books ever published. Knowing the fates of scientists who had published radical theories and been ostracized or worse, Darwin had held off publishing his theory of natural selection for years. • On April 1, 1924, Adolf Hitler is sentenced for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch of Nov. 8, 1923. He had been charged with high treason. Despite his conviction, he was out of jail before the end of the year, with his political position stronger than ever. • On April 3, 1936, Richard Bruno Hauptmann, convicted in the kidnapping and murder of the 20-month-old son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, is executed by electrocution. In 1932, Charles Jr. was kidnapped from the nursery of the Lindbergh home. • On April 2, 1979, the world’s first anthrax epidemic begins in Ekaterinburg, Russia (now Sverdlosk). Thirteen years later the epidemic was finally explained: Workers at a weapons plant had failed to replace a filter, causing a release of anthrax spores into the outside air. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.
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