Last-minute filing tips
last-minute filing essentials mailbox HER

Running out of time to make the April 15 deadline? Here's your game plan for getting the job done:

Sneak in a tax cut. You still have time to snag a 2012 deduction: Contribute to a traditional IRA or health savings account. Even if your workplace has a 401(k) plan, you can get a partial IRA deduction with a modified adjusted gross income of $112,000 ($68,000 for singles). Mail checks by April 15 or do a same-day transfer online.

Skip the post office. Don't bet on mailing your return at the 11th hour; with 80% of people e-filing in 2012, the Postal Service has fewer locations open late on the 15th. FedEx's evening hours will be normal, and some UPS sites will delay closing. Search for "private delivery services" on irs.gov to get the IRS street address you'll need.

Pay now. File later. To get an automatic six months' grace period, send form 4868 via mail or at freefile.irs.gov. You'll still owe taxes on the 15th, though. Estimate your bill by starting with last year's return and adjusting for changes, says St. Louis CPA Ken Rubin. Check your state tax agency's website to see if you have to file separately for a state extension. -- Lauren Gensler


  @Money - Last updated April 05 2013 06:12 AM ET
Join the Conversation
More on Taxes
12 smart ways to cut your tax bill

You can't escape the paperwork, but you can find ways to save on your taxes.

Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.