The IRS is expecting around 60 million returns to arrive this week. If you're one of these last-minute filers, welcome to my club! I'm planning to give my return a once-over this afternoon, then hit the send button.
But as good as it feels to be done with your 1040 for another year, don't relax too much. You might have some more tax tasks to take care of in the next couple of days.
Do you file estimated taxes? If you're self-employed, this is a regular filing job and the first payment voucher of the 2010 tax year also is due April 15.
Did you file your 2006 return? Around 1.4 million people didn't and they left $1.3 billion in IRS hands. The only way to get a refund is to file. And the only way to get refund money from three years ago is to file that old return by this Thursday. If you don't, the U.S. Treasury gets to keep your money forever.
Does your state have an income tax? Most do and most of those follow the IRS in demanding that you file and pay up by April 15. State revenue offices don't strike as much fear into taxpayer hearts as the big bad IRS, but with states scrambling for every dollar they can get, ignoring your state tax responsibilities could cost you big time.
Are you buying a house? If you qualify for the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit or the $6,500 move-up purchaser credit, you must have a signed contract for your new residence in place by April 30. You don't have to worry about that this week, but time here is running out so don't let this tax break slip by if you're in the new home market. There's no guarantee it will be extended yet again after this month.
And if you just can't get that 1040 in shape by April 15, remember that you need to file Form 4868 to get an extension to file. This will give you until Oct. 15 to finish your return. You must, however, pay what you owe (or a close approximation thereof) by Thursday.
Whew! I don't know about you, but I will definitely be glad when this week is finally over!