MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - If you haven't filed your tax returns yet, the clock is ticking. You have until Tuesday, April 18 to submit them or request an extension to avoid a penalty.
If you haven't filed your taxes yet, you aren't alone.The Internal Revenue Service says about one-third of Americans wait until the last minute to file their federal taxes.
According to the IRS, halfway through the 2017 tax filing season nearly 6 million fewer people have filed their returns than at the same point in 2016. That's about an 8.5 percent decline.
If you need more time to prepare your federal tax return you may be able to get an extension, but you need to make a decision now.
"The most important thing to remember about April 18 is your tax liability is due to the IRS on that day. So whether or not you extend or file your tax return the money you owe is due. Penalties can be significant. Penalties and interest can add up to 50 percent or more of what you actually owe to the treasury department," said Jody Thrasher MST CPA's and Advisors.
If you have a simple return you may be able to file online but for those needing professional help make sure you are going through a reputable tax preparer.
As another layer of protection, you can opt-in for a service that will notify you when the department of revenue receives income tax returns filed using your social security number. You can register through the program, My Alabama Taxes.