With tax season finally coming to an end, many U.S. citizens are scrambling to make sure their last-minute filings get to the post office in time or are sent out electronically before the April 15 deadline. While millions of taxpayers have already sent in their filings, paid any fees they may owe Uncle Sam and hopefully got some cash back in return, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reported that the number of homeowners who are going to be filing late this year is up from 2012.
If you are one of the thousands of citizens cutting it close, here are a few tips and tricks you can follow to help make sure that you don't end up getting penalized for late filing or end up the victim of identity theft.
Don't get held up at the post office
The IRS recommends on its websites that filers look into doing their taxes online for a number of reasons. First of all, it's more convenient for most borrowers, as they can avoid waiting in long lines at the post office and simply file from the comfort of their homes.
Your taxes won't be handled by any mailmen
As well, borrowers can remove a certain level of human error from the process by filing electronically, as your documents no longer risk getting lost or stolen through the mail. After all, if an identity thief were able to get a hold of your tax information via mail theft, they could easily use those documents to open up accounts in your name.
Keep an eye out for your return
The IRS offers an e-file program right on its website that allows citizens not only to submit their taxes electronically but also to keep track of their tax return up to 72 hours after applying for it. By doing this, you can help make sure that the money you have coming makes it safely either to your mailbox or your bank account, and not the hands of an identity thief.
When you have finished filing your taxes online, the next step you should take is to look into identity monitoring. This way, you can gain more insight into certain activity in your name that could potentially damage your credit score. After all, if a thief gets a hold of your tax information, it could result in a credit report riddled with fraud.