To avoid having to pay penalties unnecessarily, try to file your tax return on time. Many people file late because of several reasons.
1) Forget to file in time due to heavy workload.
This is perhaps the most common reason. Many people are busy with work. That is understandable because work and business provides income for the family. The problem is, it's very easy to get caught up with work, and forget other important matters - like filing for income tax returns.
To make sure that you don't forget, setup reminders that will help trigger your memory. Setup your smart phones, desktop apps, etc. to remind you of the upcoming deadline. The deadline is April 25th, midnight. So set the alarm to go off at least 14 days in advance to give you ample time to work on the filing. You must give yourself more time so that you can start digging for the necessary information as early as possible.
2) Didn't receive the forms in time.
This is rare but it happens. Mail may sometimes be delayed, or they may be lost. In this case, the issue of filing for income tax returns never come up. And all the time you are wondering why the forms never turn up. Soon, the deadline would have arrived, and you find yourself not knowing what to do because you didn't receive the forms.
If you don't see the forms arriving in your mail box, don't take a passive stance. Instead, take a more active approach. Go to the IRS website, make a phone call, and make a request for a new set of forms.
Better still, create an account with an authorized IRS website so that you can proceed with efiling. When you efiling, there is no need to fill in physical forms. Everything is done electronically, on your computer. The information is sent straight to IRS via a secure connection over the Internet.
Create an account and start immediately even if you don't have all the information you need at your fingertips. You can always save the efile as a draft, and come back to complete the process later on.
Filing for taxes on time not only help you to avoid having to pay penalties. The process also help you to get your income tax refunds quicker. Tax returns that are filed electronically are processed faster because there are usually lesser mistakes.
So don't be late! Efile your income tax return as soon as you can!