By Allison Mondell, CBS Tampa

TAMPA, FL. (CBS Tampa) –  The Tampa International Airport post office is staying open late tonight for last-minute tax filers.

Just in case you procrastinated, we put together some tips from professionals to make sure you survive the day and get your taxes filed before the deadline.

The IRS teamed up with major software companies to create a free filing program for those with a lower income.  This way, tax payers can avoid the post office lines and stay in the comfort of their own home.  The program allows those who earn less than $57,000 a year to file online using one of the software companies.  Check out the IRS website to see if this may be the best option for you.

For those who are procrastinating because they dread owing the government money, consider this: the IRS penalties are 10 times higher if you don’t file than if you file but can’t pay the full amount.  The IRS offers installment payment plans to help those who aren’t able to pay what they owe in full.

If you still aren’t going to be able to get your taxes completed by the end of the day, you can file for an extension by using the software programs on the IRS website.  The extension must be postmarked by April 17 to not be considered late.  Once your request is sent, you have until October 15 to file your tax return.

Make sure you’re aren’t in such a rush that you make a mistake that affects your return.  The IRS lists several tips to help minimize errors on your return (which may mean a quicker refund coming your way).

Double-check your social security number and the spelling of dependents’ names.  You should write whatever appears on the person’s social security card.

Look at the IRS list of filing statuses and make sure you’ve filed under the right one.   Another common error is putting incorrect bank account numbers for direct deposit.

Finally, make sure you sign and date the return before you send it in.  A return without a signature is invalid.  If you’re filing jointly, both spouses must sign.

If you find yourself hustling to get this done before the end of the work day, remember you have until midnight to file.  If you aren’t filing online, the Tampa International Airport post office will be open until 11:59 p.m. to accept tax returns.


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