Bob Meighan of tax software provider Turbo Tax says the company will see a surge of filings right up to April 15. He says, at this point, those not quite ready to start a return should at least be preparing for the inevitable. "Most people will tell you the most time consuming aspect of doing your own taxes is getting your documents together. So get your documents together," Meighan said.
Once that's in order, don't let haste make for a waste of money, by missing credits or deductions. "People tend to overlook the fact that there are credits available, there's the student loan deductions which are worth quite a bit of money in total," he said.
Another overlooked area, contributions. People often undervalue items donated to charity like furniture, clothing and toys, or sometimes forget the deductions entirely. Taxpayers who simply can't get it together before April 15, need to file I.R.S. paperwork for an extension. "Getting an extension doesn't mean an extension to pay. So if you owe Uncle Sam money, you need to make sure you make the payment by April 15, and then also file your extension request," Meighan said.
That extension gives taxpayers until October 15, an extra six months to stop procrastinating and file.