Last-Minute Tax Filing Tips

By Shane Steele
April 2, 2016

This information is not intended to be tax advice. Consult a tax preparation professional for tax advice.

No one enjoys doing taxes. That’s why a lot of us procrastinate until the last… possible… second. We’d rather clean the toilet, binge watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, or pick food out of our teeth before succumbing to the painstaking chore of filing taxes.

Instead of staring at the clock as the minutes until tax day melts away, let’s dive into some simple and proactive ways you can meet this year’s deadline both efficiently and confidently.

Put paperwork together.

Begin collecting all the necessary documentation needed to complete the process of filing your returns, including a W-2 from your employer, bank statements, investment documents, or other sources of miscellaneous income.

Get free help from the IRS.

Itching to get the preparation underway, but don’t have the budget to pay a professional? You may qualify for free assistance. IRS-certified volunteers will provide basic income tax preparation with electronic filing available to certain individuals. If you don’t qualify, you can still leverage the IRS’s website for all of your tax-related questions.

Don’t rush.

The most common mistakes made on tax returns are the easiest to prevent because they typically occur through inattention or hurry. Tiny errors can significantly delay your refund, so even if you’re short on time, make sure to avoid these common oversights:

  • Math errors (don’t underestimate the power of a calculator or tax software)
  • Incorrectly typed or written social security numbers
  • Failure to date or sign your tax return

Don’t sweat the deadline if you don’t owe.

Don’t panic if you don’t owe or are expecting a refund this year because in these instances there are no penalties for filing after the April 18th deadline. The only drawback for not submitting your return on time is that you will be postponing your refund.  

E-file with direct deposit.

One of the best ways to ensure that you receive your refund is by electing to e-file with direct deposit, which according to the IRS is thebest and fastest way to get your refund. Filing with direct deposit is convenient and easy. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to getting your tax refund direct deposited to your Chime Spending Account:

Step 1: Get your Spending Account and Routing Numbers

  • Open the Chime app on your smartphone or log in to your Chime Account on the web.
  • Visit the ‘Direct Deposit’ screen under ‘Move Money’ to view your Spending Account and routing numbers.
  • Copy these numbers and paste them directly into the tax software you’re utilizing to process your return.

Step 2: Include your Spending Account information when you file your return

If you’re using a tax software, select direct deposit as your refund method and include your Spending Account and routing numbers as the account to which you want your refund deposited. If you are having your taxes filed by a professional, let your tax preparer know that you want to receive your refund via direct deposit and provide them with your Spending Account and routing numbers. Be sure to triple check the information provided to avoid any errors which could delay your refund.

Step 3: Get notified when your refund arrives

When you e-file your return with direct deposit as the payment method, the IRS expects to issue 9 out of 10 refunds within 21 days, as opposed to 8 weeks for a check in the mail. We’ll let you know the moment your refund is deposited to your Spending Account by email and by push notification if you have downloaded the mobile banking app. If you think it’s taking too long to get your refund, you can always check on your refund status with the IRS’s nifty refund tracker.

You can dawdle, procrastinate, and lollygag as much as you want, but the tax man cometh whether you like it or not. So what are you waiting for? Knock out the nagging stress of doing your taxes so you can get out and enjoy spring, or maybe even consider some spring cleaning for your finances.  

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