What you need to know about tax returns
Many people leave tax preparation to the last minute, which can be a costly mistake. If you take the time to carefully prepare your tax returns, you can do thorough research which helps you find all the deductions you qualify for. If you fill out your tax forms in a rush to beat the deadline, you quite simply may not have the time you need to be as thorough as you should be. This is an error that can cost you hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars every year.
Tips for Tax Returns
There are tools you can use to maximize your deductions and pay the absolute least amount of income tax that you are permitted under the law. Good tax preparation software can be a big help; comprehensive programs gather detailed information about you and your family, including your income sources, spending habits and special needs, to automatically search for deductions that you qualify for. A small investment in tax preparation software can pay big dividends in the long run.
If you prefer the human touch, then working with a professional tax preparer is an investment that could provide similar returns. Most people simply don't have the kind of detailed knowledge about personal income taxation laws that they need to find all the deductions they legally qualify for, and tax preparers specialize in exactly this field. They can help you save a lot of money in taxes while still qualifying for that tax return you've banked on.
Tax filing that is not completed by the deadline (April 15 in the United States) is subject to late filing penalties and interest on any taxes owing. If you're not going to have your tax returns done in time, you must at least file for an extension by the April 15 deadline to avoid getting hit with these potentially costly fees.
Above all, be honest and operate within the confines of the law. There are significant penalties for tax evasion, and getting caught might cost you more than money; you can also be incarcerated for failing to pay your income tax. Don't risk getting a criminal record -- it can be a severe hindrance going forward.