Yikes! April 15th is just days away – the official final IRS tax deadline for individual filers. We at Safe Harbor LLP, one of San Francisco’s top CPA firms for last minute tax extensions and filings, are preparing for the blitz of the last few days before the final tax deadline. Here are 7 tips from us for San Franciscans seeking a last minute tax filing or extension:
- File for a Tax Extension (if necessary). Many people don’t realize that, if necessary, you can file for a tax extension or hire an expert CPA / Accounting Firm (like us) to do that for you. We’re not advocating putting off the inevitable: you still have to pay ALL taxes due by April 15th, but “haste makes waste,” so if you are truly not prepared reach out to us and we can file for an extension as well as do our best estimate on what you owe so as to avoid, or at least minimize tax penalties.
- Get Your Necessary Documents Ready. If you are moving forward for an April 15th tax deadline filing, make sure you have your documents ready (for you, or your seasoned tax preparer). San Francisco is a city of “proscrastinators” (because yes, it’s amazing, and there are so many distractions), but get those documents in order and ready!
- E-File. Rather than rush to the main post office in San Francisco (use this USPS tool to find a nearby post office), consider e-filing. We generally “e-file” for our clients as that electronic system is more reliable than paper filing.
- Double-check Everything. Even though you are “in a rush,” the IRS and California’s Franchise Tax Board don’t make any allowances for “last minute” errors. Either you, or your tax preparer, need to double and triple check your return and documentation, so that everything is done correctly.
Prepare for Next Tax Year, Now!
OK, when the dust settles – you’ve made that made rush to a San Francisco post office, or that made c
lick to e-file, or that made rush to our San Francisco tax service offices… Let’s take a therapeutic step back and consider how we can avoid this next year, how we can avoid a last-minute San Francisco tax filing? Some ideas:
- Find a professional San Francisco CPA / Accounting Firm. Unless your return is really simple, hiring or working with a professional CPA firm, will save you a lot of hassle and trouble. Identify a professional – now – and work with him / her during the year so you are “prepared.”
- Keep Records During the Year. Throughout the year, work with your bookkeeper or use a program like Quickbooks to keep accurate records. If you work throughout the year, your records will be in great shape in December / January, and you’ll be able to file – early.
San Francisco’s weather typically is the best in the late March / April time frame – make a goal that next year, while everyone else in San Francisco is rushing about to file those taxes last minute, you are “done” and hanging out in the San Francisco city by the Bay rather than fretting about taxes.