Last minute tax tips to save you money - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Last minute tax tips to save you money

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TOLEDO, Ohio -

We're just eight days away from the deadline to file your taxes by Tax Day, which is Tuesday, April 17 this year. There are some easy ways to save both time and money.

H&R Block estimates one in four Americans wait to file their taxes until the last month. Here are a few last minute tips:

The internet can be a great resource. Filing electronically is the fastest way to make sure the IRS gets your forms and you get your refund.

If you made less than $57,000 in 2011, you can file for free using the IRS website, or choose an online service, a tax business or a CPA.

Sidney Starks is an enrolled agent for H&R Block. She recommends sitting down with a professional to save the most cash.

Education, retirement and earned income tax credits are available, but, if you take the credit without qualifying, you could face penalties, interest and audits.

"That's the most important thing, making sure you are qualified," Starks says. "Otherwise you are setting yourself up for a world of trouble later on."

As for refunds, opting to use direct deposit helps get your money faster.

And, if you think you can't meet the deadline, Starks says there is still time and no need to file an extension.

"That doesn't solve the problem," she says. "It is not necessary. We want to get them in and file now. Then work on arrangements to make a payment."

If you have to file an extension, you must meet the midnight deadline on Tax Day and remember you still have to pay on time.

If you're having trouble paying your tax bill, you can work out a payment plan. If you're unemployed, you can file for a hardship extension, which will give you more time to pay off your bill.

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