Last minute tax help - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Last minute tax help

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The tax deadline is approaching fast but now is not the time to make common mistakes. In tonight's Money Monday, Lynn Martinez has some last minute tax tidbits to remember.

WSVN -- With just two weeks left to file your taxes, tax experts are busy answering questions.

Karen Lapekas: "It's not too late to file."

The former senior attorney for the IRS says if you are going to hire someone to prepare your taxes, be careful about who you select.

Karen Lapekas: "Anyone can become a tax return preparer. What it takes is $63 and an application to the IRS."

And don't be fooled by those claims for huge fast returns.

Karen Lapekas: "You can get a big return today but that may mean an even bigger audit later with penalties."

Who ever you choose, don't be afraid to ask questions.

Karen Lapekas: "I know it can look like Greek and something that you might not be able to understand but you're paying somebody to prepare your return. That person should be able to explain every single item on that return."

One of the most important mistakes Karen sees is fudging expenses.

Karen Lapekas: "Claim expenses that they actually incurred. Certainly don't shy away from expenses because you're afraid of an audit. If you have the expenses, claim them."

The biggest concern is owing the IRS money. She says if you do don't try to avoid it by not filing.

Karen Lapekas: "It's especially important that even if you can't pay, you must file your return."

Karen Lapekas: "The fact is, with so many information returns being filed, W2s, 1099's, the IRS is going to know instantly that your return has not been filed."

And her number one tip: If you just can't get your taxes done by April 15, file an extension. You will be penalized if you don't file on time.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.lapekaslaw.com/

http://www.irs.gov/

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