Last-Minute Tax Tips

RENO, NV - As the April 15th deadline looms, tax preparer Lorriane Braun gets busier and busier.

She says while some people may owe money and hold on to it until the last minute, others just make a game of it.

“We have a lot of people that like to be in the last one. There are like 2 or 4 people that vie for that position,” says Braun with Jackson Hewitt.

But such strategies can be costly.

Experts say waiting until the last minute makes it easy to make mistakes by forgetting paperwork that could work in your favor.

You may even forget additional income within the year.

“I think right now, this year, its does seem like the biggest form we are helping people find on the internet is the unemployment. Unemployment seems to be that I forgot. I received that unemployment benefit. Even if it was for only part of the year,” Braun says.

The IRS will notify you, and penalize you, when you forget to include income on your return.

They will not notify you if you forget to claim a deduction or credit to which you may be entitled.

Paperwork you'll need includes W2 forms and 1099 forms, bank and other statements sent to you in January and February.

Gather receipts and statements for possible deductions like mortgage interest, charitable contributions, tuition and fees for yourself or others in the family.

When you read the form, but before you file, be sure to make a last-minute check on your signature, social security number and withholdings and estimates you have paid.

If you've already filed but are unsure of all the deductions and credit to which you were entitled, there still time to have your return reviewed.

You can do that with returns going back several years.

If you find you have a return owed, it has to be within the last three years.

That means currently the return goes back as far as 2010.

Check into it now, because the 2010 refund will go away after April 15th.

There is only a three-year window when it comes to such refunds.