Dee Harris Stepter, media relations coordinator with the Internal Revenue Service, joined “Mornings With Ken and Bernie” today to give some tips to listeners that have yet to file their tax returns for 2011.  Due to the fact that April 15th falls on a Sunday, taxpayers will have an extra few days to file.  There is also a holiday in Washington D.C. on Monday April 16th, Emancipation Day, so the actual deadline for filing returns will be Tuesday April 17th at midnight.

Stepter says filing your income tax return does not have to cost you money, but there are some restrictions.  You can easily find out what you need to know by logging onto  Stepter says with "free file" is a "partnership between IRS and software providers to make brand name products available to you for free, so if you have income of $57,000 dollars or less you get to use the full package that's asking you the questions and answers to determine which tax breaks you are entitled to or you can use the free file....if you don't qualify for the full, traditional version of free file."

So what do you do if you if you can't pay your taxes on time or at the same time that you are filing?  Stepter says the website offers a calculator to help you figure out what estimated tax you should pay.  She says it is mandatory for you to send your check when you file.  She says not doing so can mean big fines the longer you wait to pay.  She says if you are expecting a tax rebate usually they are sent a few weeks after you file, but it does depend on how early you send your return and how busy their processing center is.

What's new this year?  Stepter says the expansion of the fresh start initiative is.  She says, "it's been going on since 2008 trying to reach out to taxpayers who do have debt.....sometimes people, when the owe, you know they know they are going to have interest that going to accumulate on the unpaid balance....and you also have a failure to pay penalty."  Stepter says the fresh start initiative aims to help get you into the office, see what you and see how the payments can be rectified.  Stepter says when in doubt always visit the website or call 800-tax-1040 to get questions answered.

To hear more tips and information, click on the link below for the full interview.


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