Tax Expert: Five Steps to Take Before April 15

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The federal income tax deadline of April 15 is quickly approaching. More than 25 million taxpayers are faced with the terrifying prospect of Internal Revenue Service audits, assessments, or even worse.

Many Americans hold two of the greatest misconceptions when it comes to filing their taxes. The first, that the IRS can do anything it wants legally, no matter the case. The second, that tax mistakes equal jail time.

Daniel Pilla was on the April 8 edition of "The 700 Club" to talk more about how you can reduce the stress surrounding tax time. Click play for the interview.

With all the forms and deductions, filing both state and federal income taxes can be challenging for the average American without an accounting degree.

One IRS Red Flag

Some deductions can save you some money. These include charitable contributions, mileage claims for small businesses, high entertainment costs and unusual medical expenses.

But if you're not careful, they are also red flags that could attract the scrutiny of IRS tax reviewers.

The questions about filing one's taxes can be endless. What if you are running up against the April 15 deadline? Can anyone file for an extension? And is there a difference between an extension of time to pay and an automatic extension of time to file?

Fool-Proof Steps

The stress associated with tax time can generate headaches and dread. However, tax expert Daniel Pilla says those fears can be eliminated by following a few fool-proof steps.

Pilla, who has authored The IRS Problem Solver and How to Get Tax Amnesty, has five simple things for you to do before April 15.

  • Contribute to a new or existing IRA or 401 before the filing deadline in order to get a deduction.
  • Make sure you have contemporary acknowledgments for your charitable contributions of $250 or more.
  • Prepare deduction affidavits to audit-proof your return and include a Form 8275 Disclosure Statement.
  • Use IRS Form 4868 to automatically accrue a 6-month extension.
  • Fill out Form 9465 to establish an agreement to pay your taxes over time if you do not have the funds to pay in full at the time you file.

Pilla says these relevant steps, if followed, could save time and money and give every American peace of mind, no matter their income status.

Pilla's Bio

Pilla is recognized as one of the country's leading country's premiere experts in IRS procedures. He has helped countless thousands of citizens solve personal and business tax problems they thought might never be solved.

The Wall Street Journal ranked Pilla's Problem Solver book as the number one tax book in America. He has authored 10 other books and is a frequent guest on major TV and radio networks news programs.

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