Last-minute tax tips aid filers nearing deadline

It’s crunch time for taxpayers.
State and federal filers need to have their taxes postmarked by Wednesday. But for those caught in the last-minute frenzy, help is available.
Walk-in service is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Minnesota Department of Revenue, Room 385, 10 River Park Plaza in St. Paul. In Minneapolis, people can go to Room 275 of the Towle Building, 330 Second Ave. S.
Minnesota Department of Revenue officials also answer questions at 296-3781. TTY/TDD service is open during the same hours as the regular taxpayer assistance lines and can be reached at 297-2196. Hearing impaired people can reach the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-4059.
There are also places with volunteers to help people with their taxes. To find the nearest Minnesota volunteer site, filers can call 297-3724 in the Twin Cities.
Internal Revenue Service phone lines are open until midnight Wednesday to answer questions and offer assistance: 1-800-829-1040.
The Federal Teletax line also has over 140 prerecorded messages for those who can’t immediately get through to a representative.
Computer users can download forms, instructions and other tax information at the IRS website, http://www.irs.ustreas.gov. The “tax trails” icon at the bottom of their home page leads browsers through an interactive question and answer session.
Electronic filing (EFILE) is an increasingly popular and sure-fire tax approach, said IRS Spokesman Bill Knight. Only 1 percent of all electronic filings have mistakes, compared with 9 to 11 percent with paper filing, he said.
“I would certainly encourage anyone who gets the telefile package to go that route,” said IRS spokesman Eric Smith. The telefile runs 24 hours a day.
Mistakes increase as the tax deadline approaches, Knight said. He advises people to “take a break, then come back with fresh eyes.”
–Jake Kapsner