How to Save Money: Last Minute Tax Tips for Tax Deadline On April 15
BOISE (KTVB) -- Tax day is April 15, and the Idaho State Tax Commission offered some last minute tips for filing quickly and easily.
"First of all, see if you qualify for free tax help. If you're a senior citizen or you're low income, we have tax preparation sites throughout Idaho that will help you do your taxes. And we have a link to those sites on our website," Renee Eymann, Idaho State Tax Commission, said.
Second, Eymann recommends skipping the paper mail process and e-filing instead, which is free for most Idaho taxpayers.
"We estimate about 500,000 taxpayers qualify for free e-filing, but only about 26,000 take advantage of it," Eymann said.
To find out if you qualify for free e-filing, click here. E-filing offers faster service, according to Eymann, and it also prompts you on potential tax credits you may be eligible for.
"E-file your tax return. It's a lot easier. The software does the math for you. You'll get a confirmation email when we receive your return, and you'll get your refund a lot quicker. You'll get it in up to seven weeks if you e-file versus 10 weeks if you file by paper," Eymann said.
If you're filing last minute, Eymann says on paper returns to make sure you attach your W-2 and a complete copy of your federal return. If filing a joint return, she reminds both spouses to sign the papers before sending them in.
"If you're e-filing, make sure you check your return for typos and double check those social security numbers because an incorrect social security number will delay your refund. Also, if you're entering your W-2 information, make sure you've got the employer's federal identification number correct, as well as the state employer ID number because, again, incorrect numbers will delay your refund," Eymann said.
The Idaho State Tax Commission is also reminding people to pay "use tax" when filing.
"So if you made purchases last year and you didn't pay sales tax on them, you'll owe a six percent use tax if you brought those purchases into Idaho. So for example, if you buy anything online or by telephone or mail order catalog, usually the retailer won't charge you a sales tax, so you're responsible for paying the use tax to the state," Eymann said.
If you bought things in Oregon and brought them into Idaho, Eymann says you also owe the state use taxes.
Idaho generally gets just over 700,000 returns; in April alone, officials get about 275,000 returns to process.