Taxes are due today

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Taxes are due today, and the U.S. Postal Service estimates that about 10 percent of taxpayers have waited until the last minute to file their returns.

The Internal Revenue Service has a few tips to make the lives of these taxpayer procrastinators a little less stressful.

"The best thing is if they e-file," IRS spokesperson Jean Carl said.

Taxpayers are required to file an accurate return, and anyone who files inaccurately risks incurring penalties. When filing electronically, much of the guesswork is removed from calculating taxes and errors are caught up front, Carl said.

Returns must be postmarked by midnight. But the Craig Post Office closes at 4:30 p.m., and tax returns dropped off after that won't be shipped until the next day, Postal Service employee Don Offutt said.

It's important to make sure sufficient postage is on the tax return, he said.

"The biggest problem is people get it returned to them, because there's not enough postage. If you have a doubt, put more postage on it," Offutt said.

Taxpayers who can't meet the filing deadline can file for an extension using Form 4868. Like all forms, it's available on the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov. Extensions can also be obtained by phone -- call 1-800-796-1074. Like a tax return, the extension form is due by midnight.

Even if taxpayers file an extension, their payment is due by midnight.

People who don't have enough money to meet their payment should pay as much as they can when they file, Carl said. The IRS will send a bill for the balance due and charge interest and penalties only on the unpaid balance.

Taxpayers low on funds can also ask to make monthly payments. An installment agreement can be requested by using Form 9465. But taxpayers using this option will be charged interest and may be charged a late payment penalty on any payments not made by April 15.

People who will receive a tax refund aren't required to file by April 15.

The Postal Service provides the following tips for people mailing their returns today:

Apply proper postage and stamps.

If mailing a non-IRS labeled envelope, make sure to print the proper IRS address.

Print your return address in the upper right-hand corner of the envelope.

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