April 17 will be the official deadline for filing yearly federal income taxes. As the deadline quickly approaches, many taxpayers around the National Capital Region scurry to nearby tax offices to make the closing date.

The Internal Revenue Service encourages taxpayers to file their taxes through electronic-file. By e-filing it will ensure that all taxpayer's documents arrive securely and taxpayers will receive refunds faster. IRS's Free File provides free brand name tax software or online forms that include free electronic filing. Taxpayers who have made $57,000 or less may choose from 20 available commercial software programs.

Taxpayers unable to make the cutoff may automatically get a six month extension. This extension of time is valid for filing, but this does not include an extension to pay. The fastest way to get an extension is to select the free file link on IRS.gov form 4868 for automatic tax-filling extension.

Taxpayers who owe the IRS have a variety of payment options which include Electronic Federal Tax payment system (EFTPS), electronic funds withdrawal, check/money order and credit or debit card. If you choose to pay by check or money order, all payments should be made out to U.S. Treasury. On the front of the check or money order your name, address, daytime phone number, and social security number should be included on the front.

Taxpayers who have a hard time paying their balance will most likely qualify for payment plans and other relief. Unemployed taxpayers along with self-employed individuals whose income has dropped may get a sense of relief from the IRS. The Fresh Start Initiative program has been expanded and is available to assist taxpayers who owe taxes.

Some taxpayers may get more time to file their taxes this year without filing an extension this includes taxpayers who live and work abroad, members of the military serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other combat zones (they may wait at least 180 days after they leave the combat environment to file), those affected by tornadoes, severe storms, floods and other recent natural disasters.

Common errors taxpayers make when trying to make the deadline include incorrect or missing social security numbers, misspelling a dependent's last name, filling status errors, math errors, computation errors, incorrect bank accounts for direct deposit, and forgetting to sign and date the return. While everyone is trying their best to file their taxes on time, remember to make sure that all information sent to the IRS is accurate and correct.

The Payroll Tax Cut has been extended with revised form 941, which allows employers to properly report the newly-extended payroll tax cut. Under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation act of 2012, workers will continue to receive larger paychecks for the rest of this year based on a lower social security tax withholding rate. Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall will be open until May 1 for those who still need to file their yearly federal income tax. Call 703-693-7001 for details. For more information on filing contact www.irs.gov.

Page last updated Fri April 13th, 2012 at 00:00