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Tax Time

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WSVN -- Sylvia Berman is one of those people who never misses the April 15 tax deadline.

Sylvia Berman: "I like to get it done as soon as I get that form."

But Eric did miss the deadline a few years ago and got a rude awakening.

Eric Ansel: "Penalties, interest, nasty letters, all these things I was usually trying to avoid."

If you haven't filed yet, the experts say, don't panic.

Walt Sammis: "Even if it's only a day or two before the deadline there's still time to get your taxes done."

First, get your paperwork together that includes tax forms like your W-2 and financial statements from your bank or mortgage lender.

Walt Sammis: "If you're self-employed in particular we need to know the expenses that you've had during the year."

Next, check your deductions. Big life changes could mean financial advantages.

Howard Hammer: "Do you have any new dependents? Maybe your mother has to move in with you. It can be as elementary as that and that deduction is worth $3,800."

And even though it's 2013 you can still make contributions to your 2012 individual retirement account and your health savings account.

Walt Sammis: "The money that you put into your IRA or your HSA is not taxable, so you can put it in and completely avoid paying the tax on it at this time."

If you need more time and need to file for for an extension, remember you still have to pay now.

Walt Sammis: "An extension of time to file is just that, it's an extension to file the return. It's not an extension to pay any tax that may still be owing for 2012."

If you made $57,000 or less last year, the IRS will even help you file with an online program called free file.

Whether you're working with an accountant or doing it yourself, the important thing is to file by the April 15 deadline.

Eric Ansel: "Get it organized. Get it to him as quick as you possibly can and just make sure it's done before April 15th."

Many tax preparation offices are open late this week.

It's best to have an appointment, but many do take walk-ins.

If you have story ideas for Money Monday, email us at moneymonday@wsvn.Com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

IRS Free Filehttp://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free

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