6 tips for filing your taxes at the 11th hour.

New York Life | March 14, 2024

Calendar showing the last date you can file taxes

Hey there, fellow procrastinators! If you're reading this, chances are you're knee-deep in receipts, W-2, 1099, and other forms with the tax filing deadline looming like a dark cloud. Don't worry, you're not alone – many of us find ourselves scrambling at the last minute to get our taxes in order. Here's a quick guide to help you navigate the deadline rush.


1. Gather your documents

First things first – gather all the necessary documents. W-2s, 1099s, receipts, and any other income-related paperwork should be within arm's reach. Create a checklist to make sure you haven't missed anything crucial. This list from can help get you started. The last thing you want is to be frantically searching for that one elusive document as the clock ticks down.


2. Use online tax software

Technology is your friend in the 11th hour. Online tax software is designed to streamline the process and catch common errors. Choose a reputable program that suits your needs and let it guide you through the maze of tax forms. has some suggestions. Many software options also offer e-filing, making the submission process a breeze.


3. Check for deductions and credits

Don't leave money on the table! Make sure you've explored all available deductions and credits. Common ones include education credits, homeownership deductions, and charitable contributions. If you've had any major life changes, such as getting married or having a child, these can also impact your tax situation.

4. Double-check your math

Simple arithmetic errors can lead to major headaches. Especially because you’re rushing, double-check all your calculations to ensure accuracy. Most online tax software will handle this for you, but it never hurts to give it a once-over.


5. Don't forget state taxes

If you reside in a state with income tax, don't forget to tackle your state taxes as well. Each state has its own rules and regulations, so take the time to understand what applies to you.


6. Consider filing for an extension

If the pressure is just too much, you can file for an extension. (If you miss the deadline without filing for an extension, you could face penalties.) Remember, this only gives you an extension on filing the paperwork. You still must pay your taxes on time to avoid penalties. See the IRS site for more details.


In the race against the tax clock, a little organization and strategic thinking can go a long way. Take a deep breath, focus on the task at hand, and remember – you've got this! Good luck, and may your refund be swift and plentiful.


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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937