Tuesday, July 29, 2014 · 6:41 a.m.

Procrastinators unite: Last-minute tax help

Tax returns dating back to 1783 available online

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April 15—the deadline to file a 2012 federal tax return—is here. 

Anyone who doesn't file for an extension needs to have their return filed by 11:59 p.m. tonight. 

But, never fear, the IRS and Turbo Tax have tips for procrastinators. 

Fast facts

—According to the IRS, about 60 percent of individual taxpayers hire paid preparers.

—About 30 percent use commercial software to file. 

IRS leaders point out some common mistakes to avoid here and have videos that outline more help.  

Click here for tips from the Better Business Bureau about spending your tax return. 

Turbo Tax leaders suggest these last-minute tips:

Use the Web
The IRS has a free option for online filing, and so does Turbo Tax. Leaders said going online can save time. 

Don't forget opportunities to save
Don't forget to save money by noting things such as charitable contributions

E-file with direct deposit
Taxpayers can e-file and get a direct deposit, and the IRS expects to issue nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, according to Turbo Tax. 

If all else fails, file an extension, and you'll get six more months to file. Click here for more information on that. 

Related news
Tennessee tax records dating back to 1783 are now available for free to Tennesseans. 

“I’m pleased that we were able to partner with Ancestry[.com] to provide this information free to Tennesseans,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said in a prepared statement. “Learning about the past enriches the present, and students of all ages will enjoy digging into these historical documents.”

It's the product of a partnership between Tennessee State Library and Archives and Ancestry.com.

The online database contains records from 71 of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

Noteworthy leaders such as Andrew Jackson—who paid $66 in taxes to Davidson County in 1829—appear side by side with farmers, millers and laborers, according to a news release from the state. 

Tennessee law did not require tax lists to be kept permanently, so many of the early records have been destroyed.

But those that survived are good tools for historical and genealogical research, state leaders said in the news release. 

The database contains many tax lists for some counties, but just one or two for others.

The tax lists in the database have the names of white males older than 21 for each of the counties, along with information about each listed person’s land, slaves and other property.

The records also show the different types of taxes levied through the years.

The database contains 262,784 records and 7,720 images.  

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