Last-minute tax tips

Reporter: Alex Zequiera

It's tax day. Returns must be filed electronically or postmarked before midnight Tuesday unless you've requested an automatic extension.

This year, the IRS says a lot of people have filed earlier. The incentive is to collect that rebate check. But, if you haven't filed and you have questions, we're here to help.

Tax assistance centers will be open all day long to help people file their tax returns last minute. We're asking some of the more popular tax questions that people need to know about.

A lot of people are wondering if they're eligible for the economic stimulus rebate check that ranges from $300 to $600.

Scott Shrader, Liberty Tax Services, says, "First, they have to make more than $3,000 of income. Social Security and VA benefits are included. So, a lot of people, if you haven't filed a tax return in the past, you do need to file it in order to get this. The basic thing you have to do is file a return today [Tuesday] or file an extension and file a return by October 15 in order to receive the rebate."

Another question that some people may have and ask sometimes is you may not know exactly what is deductible. What are some of the more unusual kind of deductions that you can make on your tax return?

"Well, one of the more unusual ones I've heard about recently is a reporter who had decided to deduct his iPod. Also, you can deduct tax preparation fees if you come to a tax prepare and pay them to do your taxes."

Alex wants everyone to know that reporter was not him!

Some other tips includes:

  • Consider filing your tax return for a direct deposit. It can actually speed up the process and get you your tax return check almost two months faster than it would if you waited for that tax return check in the mail.
  • You can also consider filing online. It has fewer mistakes, and it is also faster. But, again, IRS computers are just as vulnerable as any other computer for hackers.
  • File for an extension if you are not ready or able to get those taxes in and pay them or file your tax return by Tuesday. You can always file for a six-month extension making the deadline October 15. But that only works if you are getting money back. If you owe the government money, you have to pay that money back to avoid late fees or penalties.

If you need more help, experts at Liberty Tax Services are ready to help you out. If you have kids, you can bring them to their little play area. They even have an IRS dummie, so you can take a punch out of Uncle Sam and the IRS. But make sure they don't come knocking on your door.