April 09, 1998
Last-Minute Tax Tips
WASHINGTON - With the tax filing
season in its final week, the Internal Revenue Service offered some tips for those still
working on their tax forms. Double-check your numbers. Sign your form. Attach all required
schedules. And send your return to the IRS by April 15.
As usual, most people won't need this last-minute advice,
because they've already filed. As of April 3, the IRS had received more than 67 million of
the 124 million returns it expects this calendar year.
One clear trend this year has been the increase in e-filing.
The numbers for computer and telephone returns are each 25 percent ahead of this time last
year and total over 21.4 million, surpassing the projection for the entire year.
The numbers to check most carefully are the identification
numbers -- usually Social Security numbers (SSNs) -- for each person listed on your tax
return. This includes yourself, spouse, dependents, and persons listed in relation to
claims for the child care or earned income tax credits. Missing or incorrect SSNs -- the
most frequent error last year -- can delay or reduce a tax refund. Also check that you
have correctly figured the refund or balance due and have taken the right amount from the
Sign and date your completed return. Both spouses must sign a
joint return, even if only one had income. Anyone who is paid to prepare a return must
Staple Form W-2 wage statements, Form W-2G reports of gambling
winnings, or Form 1099-R pension or annuity statements showing tax withheld, to the front
page of the tax return. If you cannot pay the full balance due and want to set up an
installment plan, attach Form 9465 to the front of the return. Put all other required
forms and schedules behind the Form 1040 or 1040A, in the attachment sequence order listed
in the upper right corner of each page.
If you report capital gains or losses on line 13 of Form 1040,
you must complete and attach Schedule D this year, even if you had only capital gains
distributions from mutual funds. You must use Schedule D to figure your tax and get the
benefits of the reduced tax rates on capital gains.
Send your return by April 15. If you don't e-file, you may use
the U.S. Postal Service or one of the designated private delivery services. The tax
instructions list these private delivery services, which are offered by four companies:
Airborne Express, DHL Worldwide Express. Federal Express and United Parcel Service.
The IRS tax help number -- 1-800-829-1040 -- is open 7:00 a.m.
to 11:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Over 150 local IRS offices will be open Saturday,
Apr. 11, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., for walk-in assistance.
1998 FILING SEASON STATISTICS
Cumulative through the week ending 4/4/97 and 4/3/98
1997 1998 % Change
Individual Income Tax Returns (electronic and paper)
Total Receipts 66,873,000 67,426,000 0.8
Total Processed 56,366,000 59,282,000 5.2
E-filing -- Total Receipts:
Standard E-file 13,007,000 16,306,000 25.4
TeleFile 4,072,000 5,116,000 25.6
Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center:
Number 50,916,000 52,703,000 3.5
Amount $66.919 billion $72.155 billion 7.8
Average Refund $1314 $1369 4.2
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number 13,871,000 16,036,000 15.6
Amount $25.078 billion $29.551 billion 17.8
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