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April 05, 2018 | Posted in:

It is Almost Time – Do Not Forget to File Your Tax Return

Alloy Silverstein Accountant Valentina Efremova reminds taxpayers what needs to be done before the April 17, 2018 deadline.

 

With just under two weeks left to complete and file your 2017 income tax return, don’t forget, the deadline for personal tax returns April 17, 2018.

It’s time to make some tough choices. You can:

  • Call and hope to get a last minute tax appointment;
  • Promise to be more prepared next year;
  • Or you can join the nearly 10 million taxpayers who are expected to file for an extension.

Of those choices, filing for an extension is probably the easiest to do. It just takes a few minutes, there are no special hoops to jump through, and there’s no fee payable to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). And contrary to popular belief, filing for extension isn’t an audit trigger.

The IRS understands that there are a number of legitimate reasons why taxpayers may need more time to file. Whatever your reason for not being ready to file is yours. You don’t need to tell anyone why you’re filing for extension – even the IRS – since the extension is granted automatically if you follow the rules. To file for an extension, you can:

The regular “timely filing” rules apply – so be sure and get your extension postmarked or e-file accepted by the end of the day on April 18. Assuming you’re on time, you will have six more months to get your return to the IRS and not be subject to the late-filing penalty. For 2017, this means that, with an extension, you’ll have until October 16, 2017, to file a return (the extension is normally to October 15 which falls on a Sunday in 2017).

To file an extension, you’ll need:

  • Your name (and spouse’s name if you’re filing jointly) and address;
  • Your Social Security number (and spouse’s Social Security number if you’re filing jointly);
  • An estimate of your total tax liability for 2016;
  • Total of what you have already paid for 2016 (including withholding and estimated payments); and
  • The amount you’re paying with the extension, if anything.

Remember that an extension is an extension of the time to file and not an extension of time to pay. If you expect to owe at tax time and you’re filing for extension, you should make a payment with your extension request in order to avoid interest and penalty later. The interest rate is the federal short-term rate plus 3%, compounded daily and the late-payment penalty is normally 0.5% per month.

If you need to make a payment with your extension, you can send in a check or money order with your form 4868, pay online, or pay by phone.

While it’s always a relief to have your tax return over and done with by April 18, it’s not the end of the world if that doesn’t happen. It’s always better to file a complete, correct return on extension than a rushed, flawed return by Tax Day.

 

Contact Alloy Silverstein for assistance.

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