Ten tips for April tax return filers

DALLAS, TX -  Historically, more than 35 percent of tax returns are filed in April.  With the tax deadline of April 15 approaching, the IRS offers 10 ways to reduce stress at tax time to those who have not yet filed a tax return.

"There is no need to be in line at the post office at the eleventh hour on April 15," said Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman in Dallas.  "Our best advice is to e-file now and pay later.  You can electronically file your return now and schedule a payment with an electronic funds withdrawal from your bank account on April 15.  If you are due a refund, make sure you e-file and select direct deposit--you can receive your money in as little as two weeks."

1. E-file your return: Consider filing electronically instead of using paper tax forms. Choosing to e-file is the best way to ensure your return is accurate and complete.

2. Review tax I.D. numbers: Remember to carefully check all identification numbers on your return. Incorrect or illegible Social Security Numbers can delay or reduce a tax refund.

3. Double-check your figures: Whether you are filing electronically or by paper, review all the amounts you transferred over from your W-2 or 1099.

4. Review your math: Taxpayers filing paper returns should also make sure that they have correctly figured the refund or balance due and have used the right figure from the tax table.  It's much easier when you e-file; the computer does the math for you!

5. Sign and date your return: Both spouses must sign a joint return, even if only one had income. Anyone paid to prepare a return must also sign it.

6. Choose Direct Deposit: To get your refund up to four weeks faster, select Direct Deposit and the IRS will zap your refund directly into your bank account. It's also safer than getting a paper check in a mailbox.

7. How to make a payment: People sending a payment should make the check out to "United States Treasury" and should enclose it with, but not attach it to the tax return or the Form    1040-V, Payment Voucher, if used. Write your name, address, Social Security Number, telephone number, tax year and form number on the check or money order.  You can also pay with a credit card.  See IRS.gov for details.

8. File an extension: Taxpayers who will not be able to file a return by the April deadline should request an extension of time to file. Remember, the extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.

9. Visit the IRS Web site: IRS.gov has forms, publications and helpful information on a variety of tax subjects, available around the clock.   You may even discover information about a credit or deduction for which you qualify this year.

10. Review your return one more time: Errors may delay the processing of your return and any expected refund.