By: Gary M. DellaPosta, CPA
Are you one of the millions of Americans who haven't filed (or even started) your taxes yet? With the April 15th tax filing deadline less than two weeks away, here's some last minute tax advice for you.
1.) Stop Procrastinating. Resist the temptation to put off your taxes until the very last minute. Our office needs time to prepare your return, and we may need to request certain documents from you, which will take additional time.
2.) Include All Income. If you had a side job in addition to a regular job, you might have received a Form 1099-MISC. Make sure you include that income when you file your tax return because you may owe additional taxes on it. If you forget to include it you may be liable for penalties and interest on the unreported income. Remember: Get your documents to us as soon as you can, and we'll help you take care of whatever comes up.
3.) File on Time or Request an Extension. This year's tax deadline is April 15. If the clock runs out, you can get an automatic six-month extension, bringing the filing date to October 15, 2013. The extension itself
does not give you more time to pay any taxes due. You will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April deadline, plus a late-payment penalty if you have not paid at least 90 percent of your total tax by that date.
If you need to file for late-penalty relief, we can help with that to. See Late-Penalty Relief for Late Filers under Tax Tips below
4.) Don't Panic If You Can't Pay. If you can't immediately pay the taxes you owe, consider some alternatives. You can apply for an IRS installment agreement, suggesting your own monthly payment amount and due date, and getting a reduced late-payment penalty rate. You also have various options for charging your balance on a credit card. There is no IRS fee for credit card payments, but the processing companies charge a convenience fee. Electronic filers with a balance due can file early and authorize the government's
financial agent to take the money directly from their checking or savings account on the April due date, with no fee.
5.) Sign and Double Check Your Return. The IRS will not process tax returns that aren't signed, so make sure you sign and date your return. You should also double check your social security number, as well as any electronic payment or direct deposit numbers, and make sure that your filing status is correct.
Late-Penalty Relief for Extended Filers
Due to delays at the start of the tax season, the IRS is providing late-payment penalty relief to individuals and businesses requesting a tax-filing extension because they are attaching forms to their returns that couldn't be filed until after January.
The relief applies to the late-payment penalty, normally 0.5 percent per month, charged on tax payments made after the regular filing deadline. This relief applies to any of the forms delayed until February or March, primarily due to the January enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act.
Taxpayers using forms claiming such tax benefits as depreciation deductions and a variety of business credits, including the Work Opportunity Credit qualify for this relief, as well as the following:
~ Form 8863, Education Credits (American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits
~ Form 8908, Energy Efficient Home Credit
~ Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses
Individuals and businesses qualify for this relief if they properly request an extension to file their 2012 returns. Eligible taxpayers need not make any special notation on their extension request, but as usual, they must properly estimate their expected tax liability and pay the estimated amount by the original due date of
The return must be filed and payment for any additional amount due must be made by the extended due date. Interest still applies to any tax payment made after the original deadline.
Gary DellaPosta is a CPA and founder of the firm: Gary M DellaPosta, CPA's & Business Advisors. A graduate of Bryant
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