Tax Return Deadline
From about mid January through April, taxes are on everyone’s mind. Everyone is after the most prized accomplishment, a large tax refund. To many practitioners, we find this pursuit comical, as it would be better for most if they withheld less during the year and attempted to owe the less to the IRS. But that debate is meant for a different article, perhaps the next one…
This article focuses on the actual deadline to file. This deadline is normally on the 15th of April every year, but can fluctuate around that date depending upon what day that actually lands on. This year, the deadline to file your tax return is April 18, 2017. This means that your income tax return or an extension needs to be filed and paid in full by April 18th.
Let’s go through some scenarios:
You have your return prepared, but have a balance owed and cannot pay by April 18th:
File the return on time. Just because you don’t have the funds doesn’t mean you shouldn’t file. It also doesn’t mean that you should file an extension. The return or an extension is due the 18th. If it is a day late, you get penalized for late filing. This is an ongoing penalty that occurs every month. It stops once the return is filed. If you have a balance owed, figure out what is your best way to resolve the debt. A settlement, a currently not collectible, or a payment plan.
You want to file an extension but think you may owe:
Similar to above. An extension is an extension to file the return, but it is not an extension to pay. The tax is due on filing day, period. If it is not paid in full at that time, interest and penalties begin to accrue. That means if you file an extension, and then later file the return with a balance owed, all those months in between will have an additional interest and penalties associated with them. Suddenly your tax bill has gone up. This creates even a larger problem is that you may not be able to calculate how much it has increased and you get stuck in the back and forth of how much you actually owe the IRS
Our best advice is don’t wait. As soon as you have all your tax documents ready, prepare and file your tax return. The amount owed isn’t due until the filing deadline, even if you filed in January. If you aren’t eligible for a refund, you wont get it if you wait. If you are eligible
for a refund, get it done as soon as possible to allow time for processing. Don’t mess with missing the filing deadline and do your best not to file an extension if you can. Extensions should be used when there is missing documents, missing correlated business returns, or confusion as to taxable income and expenses. Beyond that, meet the filing deadline, each and every year.
Give us a call 800-822-4122 to see what your options are if you are worried about the filing deadline or have a new balance owed, we can help.