Your last-minute 'Crap, I have to do my taxes today!' guide


Your taxes need to be done by today.

April 18 is the deadline to submit your returns online (or, if you prefer to get your return in the mail and postmarked by that day, the IRS says).

Of course, a lot of people still haven't filed their return – as many as 5 million could be submitted today, The Associated Press says.

If you're one of those people, here's a look at where and how to file (including free online options).

Where can I file my taxes online?

There are 13 websites certified to submit electronic returns for people, the Minnesota Department of Revenue says. Click here for the list.

Four of them offer free e-filing to people who qualify:

H&R Block – must make less than $62,000, and be 17-50 years old or active duty military in 2015.

OLT – If you made $13,000 to $62,000 last year.

TaxAct– If you made under $50,000, and are either under 56 years old or eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. or were active military.

TurboTax Freedom Edition – Must have made under $31,000, made under $62,000 while active duty military, or are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The IRS has a Free File list, too. Click here to go to the site.

Can I get more time?

Yes. Kind of. But it'll still require some work today.

If you need more time to fill out your taxes, you can file an extension with the IRS – but that has to be submitted by today, April 18.

If you owe money though, you still need to pay that amount by April 18.

What do I need to fill out the tax forms?

You need your W-2 form (here's a sample) from every employer you worked for in 2015. It'll list how much money you made, how much was taken out for taxes and other government programs, and some other work/state information.

If you got any other forms – like a Certificate of Rent Paid, if you rented in 2015, or a 1098-e that shows how much you paid in student loan interest during 2015 (which helps you get money back) – then have those too.

As you fill your return out online, the site will tell you which papers to look at and which numbers you need to punch in.

How do I know which forms to fill out?

The main form will be a 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ., the IRS says.

If you use an online filing website, it'll automatically fill out the right forms for you based on the information you punch in.

The 1040EZ is the simplest – it's for people who made less than $100,000, don't have dependents (kids, for example), aren't claiming any other credits, and meet a few other requirements.

The 1040A and 1040 offer the most different options for people with more going on.

How do I know my taxes are done correctly?

You'll get an email or text (if you sign up) saying your federal and state returns have been accepted – or not accepted.

If they're not accepted, you need to go back and check the figures you put in compared to what's on your W-2 (and other forms). Also double check your name, address, birth date, and all that kind of information.

Where is my money?

If you're getting a refund, you can track the federal money here.

And go here to see the status of your state return.

The IRS says it usually doesn't take more than a few weeks to get a refund, though that isn't a firm rule.

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