Tax day is here! And all taxpayers who waited to the last minute are having some form of panic attacks. But don’t worry! You are not going to jail if you don’t file your taxes on time, so take a deep breath, and here is your definitive guide to last minute tax filing:
The Deadline Is April 18th: Due to special holidays, 2015 taxes are due April 18th this year. So if you’ve already resigned into thinking you missed the deadline you’re in luck! Get your stuff together and head to an R&G Brenner location near you before it’s too late!
Not Ready? File An Extension: If you are still scrambling to amass your documentation, expenses & deductions, don’t sweat and file an extension. An extension will allow you more time to get your stuff together (or more time to procrastinate). Either way, you’ll save money in unnecessary penalties and late filing fees. However, be aware that filing for an extension to file your tax return is not an extension to pay your taxes due; you must send a rough estimate of what you think you will owe to the taxing authorities. If you are unsure, overestimate; you will get an overpayment refund when you file your final tax return. If you underestimate, you will be subject to interest charges on the amount you underpaid. Even if you can’t pay your full amount of taxes due, send something even if it’s just $20. This will prevent penalties and the taxing authorities will offer to put you on a payment plan.
Deadline & Extensions Are Only For Taxpayers who OWE: This is the most common mistake that taxpayers make. If you are due a refund, you have 3 years to file your tax return to claim that refund. No extensions are necessary. The deadline & extensions are only if you owe taxes and cannot file your final tax return by the deadline. So if you are getting a refund, next year don’t scramble to file by the deadline. You can simply wait one day after the deadline and you should be able to get an appointment of your choice and be able to sit with a tax professional pressure-free. Just remember: If you do not file for a refund before the statute of limitations runs out (3 years), you refund(s) become the property of the US Government and/0r Taxing State. That’s your money! Don’t give it away.
Plan For Next Year: It’s hard to change one’s habits. But technology is making it easier. Almost everyone has a smart phone. If you are in a cab, or taking a client to dinner, it is very easy to simply snap a photo of the receipts with your phone. Same thing for when you get your income statements of K1’s. Keep all those photos in a folder and when it comes time doing your taxes—either by yourself or with a tax professional—you will have all the heavy lifting done already. This will save you time and stress.
While most R&G Brenner professionals are fully booked in this late hour, many offices are keeping extended hours in anticipation of a rush of last minute filers. If you can’t get an appointment with an R&G Brenner Tax Professional, just walk in and if you can’t meet with a tax pro on your schedule, just drop off your papers and we file them as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us toll free at (888) APRIL-15. Happy Tax day and rememeber: “Saving you time and money is what we are all about”.
Benjamin K. Brenner