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Last-minute Tax Tips to Save Procrastinators Time and Money

CompleteTax reviews last-minute steps, including filing for an extension if needed

Millions of taxpayers jump into tax season early, eager to get their taxes filed and receive any refund they may have coming. Then there’s the millions of other taxpayers who procrastinate until the last minute and others who still need more time. CompleteTax®, an online tax preparation and e-filing service for the do-it-yourself taxpayer, helps both last-minute tax filers and those needing to file for an extension.

“There’s no way to stop the clock. April 15 will arrive shortly,” said Gary Lundberg, product management director for CompleteTax. “But there are steps last-minute filers can take to make it easier to get their taxes done and maximize their refund.” 

Steps Lundberg suggests to speed and increase tax refunds include:

Take advantage of last-minute tax savings. While there’s not a lot you can do to lower your taxes once the tax year ends, there are a few, including:

  • IRA contribution deduction. Provided certain requirements are met, taxpayers can reduce their taxable income by as much as $5,000 ($6,000 if they are 50 or older). Taxpayers have until April 15, 2010 to contribute to their 2009 IRA.
  • The homebuyer credit. Eligible homebuyers may be able to take a credit on their 2009 taxes for the purchase of a home in 2010 so long as they have a binding contract by April 30, 2010 and close the deal by June 30, 2010.
  • Haiti charitable contribution deduction. Cash charitable contributions made to Haiti earthquake relief programs in January or February of 2010 can be claimed on a taxpayer’s 2009 tax return.

Check your work. This sounds obvious, but leaving out information or making a math error are the quickest ways to gain unwanted attention from the IRS, slow down the processing of your tax return and delay your refund. For example, be certain to include all Social Security numbers needed and that the tax return is signed – either manually (if mailing) or with an electronic PIN (if e-filing).

E-file your tax return and choose direct deposit. Using online tax preparation software that flags potential problems is one way to avoid mistakes and speed tax prep. E-filing also can help speed your tax refund. In fact, e-filing with direct deposit can mean receiving your tax refund in as little as 10 days rather than the six weeks it can take for a refund if you filed a paper return and have to wait for a check mailed from the IRS. Taxpayers who want to keep up to date with the status of their refund can do so with the IRS’ Where’s my Refund? online tool.

Stop paying too much in taxes; adjust 2010 withholdings now. The average tax refund last year was nearly $2,800. Everyone likes getting money back. However, taxpayers receiving large refunds may be overpaying their taxes throughout the year and should speak to their employer about reducing the amount that is withheld from their pay.

CompleteTax provides a free Federal Withholding (W-4) calculator to help taxpayers determine the appropriate amount to have withheld at

Filing for an Extension
For taxpayers who will not be able to complete their tax returns by April 15, CompleteTax guides them through filing for an extension.

The program will automatically fill in relevant information on the Form 4868 used for filing an extension for taxpayers who have started their returns with CompleteTax and are requesting an extension. Individuals who have yet to start their return can still use CompleteTax to file for an extension. Taxpayers have the option of letting CompleteTax electronically file the extension form for them, or they can print and mail the form to the IRS.

“Millions of people are not able to finish their tax returns by the April 15 deadline for various reasons. But it’s important to make sure you file for an extension by then – and pay expected taxes owed – to avoid fines and penalties,” said Lundberg. “With CompleteTax, it’s easy and takes just a few minutes to file for an extension and the program will regularly remind you to complete your tax return before the October 15 tax filing extension deadline.”

About CompleteTax
CompleteTax (, an  online tax preparation and e-filing service for the do-it-yourself taxpayer, is the smart, simple solution for people who want to get their taxes done quickly, easily and accurately and maximize their tax refund. CompleteTax offers comprehensive resources for preparing and e-filing both federal and state income tax returns. You can become a CompleteTax fan on Facebook, follow on  Twitter and visit the CompleteTax  YouTube channel. CompleteTax is developed by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business (, a leading provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software and services. Wolters Kluwer is a leading global information services and publishing company (

Leslie Bonacum

Neil Allen