Tips for filing your 2023 taxes last minute

BOSTON — Receipts, forms, penalties for perjury -- it’s the annual accounting of personal finance in the U.S. -- Tax Day.

In Massachusetts, residents got two extra days to file taxes, thanks to the Patriots’ Day holiday. But by midnight, Wednesday, April 17th forms have to be in the mail... or not.

Because you can still file for an extension.

“And that’s going to extend up to six months the time you have to file your taxes,” said Kevin Martin, a tax researcher with H&R Block. Some choose the extension option because they’re waiting for a form, or a form needs to be corrected -- or they’re procrastinating.

But there’s a catch to filing extensions.

“If you don’t pay the taxes with the extension and then later file the return -- and you have taxes owed -- you’re still going to owe interest from the deadline to when you filed.”

It’s the I.R.S. And that means no free lunch. But tax season can mean indigestion for those who tackle preparation themselves. Martin said there are ways to set things up now to reduce stress next year. It starts with a simple task that can feel overwhelming -- and that is keeping receipts.

“If you want to keep a receipt, it’s a lot easier to keep it at the time than trying to go back and find it later,” said Martin.

Receipts connected to tax filing are not just slips of paper. In an audit, they can serve as physical proof of an expenditure.

Martin also recommends the self-employed and those with side gigs to file quarterly tax payments -- something required by law. That kind of habit can boost the chances for a more organized financial picture.

Of course, preparing taxes is just Part A of the pain.

Part B is having to pay the I.R.S.

It’s too late to do anything about that this year, but for next year’s taxes, Martin recommends adopting a mindset of offsetting gains with losses. Sell underperforming stocks if others soar. Consider paying your first quarter property taxes for 2025 at the end of 2024. Increase retirement contributions to the limit, if possible. And be aware of state-specific deductions.

“For example, in Massachusetts, I know there’s a deduction available for renters,” said Martin.

That one could be worth up to $4,000.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW

Comments on this article