The deadline to file taxes is Tuesday, April 15. While most Americans have already filed - especially those getting a refund - the IRS says 20 to 25 percent of us are going to wait until the last two weeks.
Whether you haven't found the time, don't have the dough, or you're like me and just can't seem to avoid deadlines, it's time to get started.
Here are the steps you need to take to make it as painless as possible:
Step one: Get organized. Don't sit down until you have what you need: W-2s, 1099s, receipts - look at last year's return: make sure you have the backup to support the same stuff on this year's.
Step two: Decide who's doing it. Remember, if you made $52,000 or less last year, you qualify for free in-person preparation. If not, grab some software - the IRS Free File website is a great place to find it cheap or even free.
Step 3: Take a breath, take your time. Rushing means making mistakes. If you're not going to finish by April 15, no problem. Just file an extension.
Use this form - 4868. If you owe, you'll have to pay. But this simple form will buy you 6 more months. If you need it, use it.
And whatever you file, do it electronically. It's fast, it's often free, and you'll get an electronic confirmation it's been received.
Bottom line? Time is running out, but there's no reason for you to stress out. If you're not going to make it in time, just file an extension and procrastinate away.
Either way I've got some tips to help. Go to moneytalksnews.com and do a search for "Tax Hacks 2014."
For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.
Just do a search for "money pit." For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.