Last Minute Tax Tips for 2014
With the April 15 tax-filing deadline less than a week away, here’s some last minute tax tips for you!!!
Are you one of the millions of Americans who haven’t filed (or even started) your taxes yet? With the April 15 tax-filing deadline less than a week 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, whether a tax form reporting the income has been received or not 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.
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, 2014. If you are overseas on the tax deadline, you will qualify for an automatic two-month extension to June 15, 2014 (no late filing or paying penalties will apply, however interest will be charged on any tax due and paid after April 15).
You should keep in mind however, that filing the extension itself does not give you more time to pay any taxes due. You will still 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.
The failure-to-file penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty. So, if you cannot pay all the taxes you owe, you should still file your tax return on time and pay as much as you can, then explore other payment options.
Request a free quote below if you need to file an extension and we’ll take care of it for you once you start your engagement. If you need to file for late-penalty relief, we can help with that too.
4. Don’t Panic If You Can’t Pay. If you can’t immediately pay the taxes you owe, there are several 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 processing companies generally charge a convenience fee.
Electronic filers with a balance due can file early and authorize an electronic withdrawal 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 pressure of trying to get your taxes filed before the deadline can cause you to make some simple mistakes that can cause your return to be considered incomplete. For example, the IRS will not process tax returns that aren’t signed, so make sure that 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 finally, make sure that your filing status is correct.
Remember: Get your documents to us as soon as you can, and we’ll help you take care of whatever comes up.
5. Don’t be under the illusion that you can avoid taxes. Whether you owe taxes or have a refund and you have missed the tax filing deadline. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the problem — it won’t go away.
The best approach is to file and pay as soon as you can to minimize any penalty and interest charges (there are not late filing and payment penalties if you are due a refund). And if you owe tax but can’t pay it all at once, you should pay as much as you can when you do file.
6. Always check your return. Whether you use tax preparation software or hire a professional tax firm such as Tax Samaritan it is important that you don’t sign and file your return blindly without knowing what you are signing for. Even if you rely on software and are preparing your own return, it is important that you understand your return.
As the taxpayer, you are ultimately responsible for whatever is presented and filed on the return.
While tax software may not be able to provide you with a human explanation, such as a tax professional should be able to provide, be sure to ask or search for the answers to questions that you have so that you are comfortable and confident of what is being presented on your return.
As a client of Tax Samaritan, we can assist you with filing your return and an extension if needed.
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Tax Samaritan is focused on ensuring that accurate and complete returns are prepared for all taxpayers while paying the lowest tax liability legally possible.
If you would like to request a free quote or discuss the preparation of your tax return, you can request a free, no obligation quote for our services here:
Tax Samaritan is a team of Enrolled Agents with over 25 years of experience focusing on US tax preparation and representation. We maintain this tax blog where all articles are written by Enrolled Agents. Our main objective is to educate US taxpayers on their tax responsibilities and the selection of a tax professional. Our articles are also designed to help taxpayers looking to self prepare, providing specific tips and pitfalls to avoid.
When looking for a tax professional, choose carefully. We recommend that you generally want to hire an Enrolled Agent, such as Tax Samaritan or other professional licensed to practice before the IRS, such as a CPA or attorney. If you are a US taxpayer overseas, we further recommend that you seek a professional who is experienced in expat tax preparation (most tax professionals have limited to no experience with expat taxes).
Randall Brody is an enrolled agent, licensed by the US Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits, collections and appeals. To attain the enrolled agent designation, candidates must demonstrate expertise in taxation, fulfill continuing education credits and adhere to a stringent code of ethics.
Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.
All About Randall Brody
Randall is the Founder of Tax Samaritan, a boutique firm specializing in the preparation of taxes and the resolution of tax problems for Americans living abroad, as well as the other unique tax issues that apply to taxpayers. Here, they help taxpayers save money on their tax returns.