Americans will file taxes on Tuesday, April 17 this year. For those who have not filed yet, here are a few tips to help the process go more smoothly.



  1. Tax forms for this year have been revised to comply with new tax laws.


Following the enactment of the federal budget Feb. 9, many forms, including the commonly used 1040 and 1040A, have been updated to correctly calculate taxable incomes and deductions.

See more on all the affected forms here.





2. For those who can not pay their full tax bill by April 17, pay as much as possible and request an extension.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers should still file on April 17 to avoid penalties, even if they can not pay the full amount.

Taxpayers can file for a 6-month extension with a free form on the IRS website here. 

Some taxpayers may also qualify for a payment plan to help spread out the total payment in installments.

 





3. Claim credits where eligible.
Taxpayers can qualify for Earned Income Tax Credits if they meet certain rules  based on income and filing status.

Changes in marital, parental and financial status in the past year can affect eligibility for credits, according to the IRS.

Additional deductions can be made to overall tax bills if the filer has a child, has paid for health insurance in the previous year, own a home or if they put savings in a retirement account.

See more credits and deductions here.





4. Fix mistakes using an amendment form.
Corrections to filed forms can be made by filing Form 1040X.





5. Avoid scams
According to the IRS, the service does not initiate contact with taxpayers through email, social media or via text message.

Emails from scammers should be forwarded to [email protected] then deleted. Do not reply, click any links or open any attachments.

Text messages from someone claiming to be the IRS should be deleted. Do not reply or open any attachments.

See more on how to identify phishing scams here.





6. File for free
For those making below $66,000 a year, an estimated 70 percent of all taxpayers, the IRS offers Free File software Taxpayers will need an email address, a copy of last year's tax return and proof of income and deductions, like W-2s.

For those making above $66,000, the IRS also offers online forms.