Finance expert provides tips for last-minute tax filers

NOW: Finance expert provides tips for last-minute tax filers

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Tax season is coming to a close tomorrow. April 18th marks the official deadline for filing taxes for this year. With many people waiting until the last minute, requesting for an extension may be an option for those that need the extra time and want to avoid those late penalties.

Roughly 1 in 7 tax filers wait until the last week to submit their returns, according to the I.R.S. So while most accountants are feeling relieved that this year's tax season is wrapping up Monday, some people are rushing to finish and probably wondering what options they have in case they run out of time.

Out of all of the seasons, tax season would probably rank the lowest as people's favorite, which could explain why people wait until the last minute to file, or hire someone else to do it for them. However, a financial expert at Eli Lilly says that available software programs can make the job a bit easier if you want to do them yourself.

“It’s really all about just documentation and getting everything in order," says Senior Director of Corporate Financial Reporting at Eli Lilly, Andrew Burke. “There’s a lot of good software providers out there and companies that can help for the vast majority of people filing their taxes, that can help kind of do the math for you and kind of give you the best returns possible.”

If you happen to be one of the people considering filing for an extension, it is the best way to make sure you are filing an accurate return while avoiding late penalties.

“If you need more time to get all of your documents together, or you own your own business or something like that, then I think it’s something that they’re definitely willing to let you do," advises Burke. "They want it to be accurate and correct; it’s probably the highest priority.”

If you get too overwhelmed doing your taxes by yourself or catch yourself waiting until the last minute, you can plan to get professional help for the next tax season.

“It’s time consuming. It’s how much you value your time versus the money that you would pay a professional," Burke says. “Trying to work with a professional and making sure that everything is accurate and well-documented, and that you’re not trying to do something that you’re not comfortable doing.”

But as always, the best advice anyone can give is to get your taxes done as early as possible.

"Just, getting your ducks in a row ahead of time, you usually get all of your statements by January 31st, so pick some time out in February or March to just knock it out or get everything together and find somebody to help you," Burke recommends.

For more information on late penalties, extensions, or an answer to any tax questions you may have before tomorrow's deadline, you can visit the I.R.S. website.

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