Right before this year’s tax deadline, the IRS put out a release reminding people that some of us may not have to ask for an extension. While this advice is coming a bit late from me for the current tax year, it is definitely something to keep in mind. As the IRS notes “Taxpayers in Presidentially-declared disaster areas, members of the military serving in a combat zone and Americans living and working abroad get extra time to both file their returns and pay any taxes due.”
If you are a taxpayer in a disaster area you will often have extended time to file and pay. These extensions of time also apply to other tax-related items like contributing to an IRA. The IRS states that generally any area given a disaster declaration by FEMA is provided this relief, which is extended to relief workers, businesses and anyone who has their tax records located in the disaster area.
If you are a member of the military or eligible support personnel serving in a combat zone you will have at least 180 days after you leave the combat zone to file your tax returns and pay your taxes. As with the disaster relief, this extension also pertains to other tax-related items like contributing to your IRA. The IRS suggest checking Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide, for further details.
For U.S. citizens and resident aliens who are living and working outside the United States and Puerto Rico, you have until June 15, 2017 (for the current tax year) to file your return and pay any taxes due. This also applies for military members on duty outside the U.S. who do not qualify for the combat zone extension. The IRS does note two items with this category of extended filing: 1) Attach a statement with your return explaining which situation applies for you; and 2) interest still applies to payments received after the standard filing deadline (generally April 15). See Publication 54 for more information.
For everyone else, just remember to ask for more time by filing Form 4868.
With the year coming to an end, it is important to start getting your books in order to have them ready to close, and get a head start on filing your tax return. It is important to know that for the upcoming year, many due dates have changed for 2016 returns, and will be changed going forward.
Here are a few of those dates that have changed for the upcoming filing season. Additional guidance can be found on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) website:
• Partnerships with a calendar year end will have a new due date of March 15th, and the extension date remains as September 15th. Fiscal year partnership returns are due on the 15th day of the 3rd month after year end, and a six month extension is allowed from that date.
• Trusts and Estates Form 1041 will have the same filing date of April 15th, but the new extension date is now September 30th.
• Exempt organizations will have the same filing date of May 15th, but with a single automatic 6-month extension of November 15th.
• FinCEN Report 114 will have a new due date of April 15th, with a new extension date of October 15th.
• Information returns including W-2 and most 1099 MISC forms will be due to the IRS/SSA on January 31st. This is the same date that they are due to the taxpayer. All other 1099 forms are due February 28th or March 31st if filed electronically.
• C Corporations have different rules for the upcoming years depending on when the year end is:
C Corporations with a calendar year end will have a new due date of April 15th with an extension date of September 15th.
C Corporations with a fiscal year end return other than December 31st and June 30th will be due on the 15th of the 4th month after the year end with an extension on the 15th of the 10th month after year end.
C Corporations with a June 30th fiscal year end will have a due date of September 15th with a new extension due date of April 15th.
It is important to be aware of these new filing dates since this will effect many entity returns in the upcoming filing season.
With all of the talk of tax deadlines switching for 2016 tax returns it’s important to go over some of the deadlines for this current tax season. The deadlines for this year are the same as they have been in the past. Here are a few of those dates, but additional guidance can be found on the IRS website.
File form 1120 or 1120S for calendar year 2015 and pay any tax due
File form 7004 for an automatic 6 month extension, and deposit estimated tax
The return or extension must be postmarked or transmitted for e-filing by Monday, April 18, 2016
Your tax payment is still due by April 18 and can be submitted with the extension form
Non-profits can request an automatic three-month extension by submitting Form 8868
For taxpayers who have over $10,000 in total in foreign bank accounts
These forms must be filed electronically and there are no extensions
The organization can request an additional three-month extension (not automatically granted) by filing another Form 8868 and filing out the information in Part II
If you filed for an extension, this is the final deadline to file your individual tax return for 2015
All of the deadline changes will occur in 2017 for 2016 returns.
On Tuesday, tax season officially began, and the IRS started accepting electronic returns, and processing paper returns. However, many of you may be waiting for your tax documents. The IRS urges taxpayers to wait until they have received all tax documents before filing. Here is a list of some common IRS forms you may be waiting for to file your return. I have included the due dates that are listed on the back of the tax documents. The form is considered on time if they have been mailed to the recipient on or before that date. Generally, many of these forms are required to be mailed by January 31st, but since this date falls on a weekend the due date is the next business day.
Check the IRS website under Current Forms & Publications Search to look at any additional tax forms that you have questions about.
Be sure to look out for any mention of possible amendments on any of these forms. It is common for brokerages to provide 1099 forms by the deadline, but then have a note on them that there may be changes that could cause an amended 1099.
If you are waiting on a K-1 from a separate entity, you may be waiting awhile longer. The date you receive this will depend on when the entity files their return. Be sure to check the due date of the entity’s return, and be aware of possible extensions.
Yes, it is that time of year. Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start thinking about income tax. Were there any life event changes such as getting married, having a baby, adopting a child, death of a spouse, purchasing a home or any other events that would affect your income tax return?
Start accumulating your documents to prepare your 2013 income tax return. Set aside a box, a file or a cubby to hold tax documents as you receive them in the mail. Be on the lookout for envelopes with “tax document enclosed” on them. You should receive Form W-2 if you were an employee in 2013, Form 1098 Mortgage Interest Statement if you own property, as well as various types of Form 1099, if any. You’ll also need Forms K-1 from pass through entities that you have an interest in. You should have been accumulating documents and receipts for tax deductions and contributions received throughout the year.
How will you prepare your income tax return? The IRS offers a free filing on their website for taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) of $57,000 or less. The free filing is a good option for taxpayers with uncomplicated tax situations. There are also numerous tax preparation software packages on the market for individuals ineligible to take advantage of the IRS Free File.
Hiring a professional to prepare your income tax return makes sense when your tax situation includes unusual tax circumstances, numerous investments in rentals or partnerships, or you just need to be confident that your return was prepared correctly and that all possible tax savings were considered.
Now get prepared and get your 2013 income tax return filed by April 15, 2014! (An extension to file is available, but not to pay if you can’t meet this deadline).
The government shutdown has affected many federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service. It is estimated that only about 10% of the IRS employees are currently working. This has caused some questions among taxpayers about whether or not their tax returns need to be filed by October 15th. The government shutdown and the decrease of IRS employees will not affect the upcoming tax deadline. All taxpayers who requested a six month extension by April 15 will still have to file their tax returns by October 15th.
Having a decrease in employees due to the shutdown will affect other areas of tax filing. It is recommended that you file your tax return electronically because most of these will be processed automatically. If you paper file, nothing will be done with your return until the shutdown ends, but it still needs to be postmarked by the October 15th or it will be considered late. If you do paper file, it is good idea to send your return using Certified Mail to have proof that you sent your return in by October 15th.
The government shutdown has caused much frustration for taxpayers. This is mostly true for taxpayers expecting a refund. Even if your tax return is filed on time, no refunds will be issued until the government shutdown ends and operations return to normal. However, if you owe money it still needs to be paid when you file. The “IRS Where’s My Refund?” function will not be available to anyone who filed their tax return after the start of the government shutdown until the shutdown ends.
Also there is not much happening in regards to tax assistance from the IRS. There is no one working the telephone customer service lines and the IRS’s walk-in taxpayer assistance centers are closed. However, the automated assistance line is still open.
So get your tax return filed by October 15th, and hopefully for everyone waiting on a refund or trying to resolve an issue with the IRS, the government shutdown ends soon.
The October 15th tax extension deadline is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to finish up that tax return you have been avoiding all summer. There are many benefits to filing an extension if your tax return is not quite ready in April, but there are no additional extensions available for the upcoming October 15th deadline. When you filed your extension in April, it did not extend the amount of time to pay, it just gave you an extra 6 months to finalize and file your tax return. You still had to pay the amount of tax you owed or the best estimate of it by April 15th. This might have people questioning why they need to get their returns in by October 15th if they already paid in April. The reason is to avoid possible penalties.
Depending on whether you owe money or are due a refund from the IRS will determine the consequences of not filing on time.
For individuals that will receive a refund, you will not be assessed any penalties. This is because the penalties are based on a percentage of the amount owed to the government. If you owe $0, any percentage of zero is still zero. However, the sooner you file, the sooner you’ll get your tax refund so it’s not a bad idea to get your tax return filed as soon as possible.
If you are one of the unlucky individuals that do owe, you could be subject to penalties. The IRS imposes two types of penalties; the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty. The failure-to-file penalty is 5% per month on any unpaid taxes and the failure-to-pay penalty is .05% per month on any unpaid taxes. If you filed an extension in April the failure-to-file penalty is deferred until October 15th. However, if you do not file by October 15th the failure-to-file penalty begins that day and will be assessed until you file your return. If you did not file an extension in April, the failure-to-file penalty started April 15th and will continue until your return is filed and the amount you owe is paid. In general, the maximum penalty is 25% of the amount you owe. You will also have to pay interest on the amount of tax unpaid by April 15th.
In order to avoid these penalties be sure to file your tax return by April 15th or if you filed an extension, by October 15th, and pay the total amount you owe when you file your extension in April.
Last week approximately 400 CPA’s (including yours truly) descended on Capitol Hill to discuss issues of interest to the profession and our clients. The Capitol Hill visits were in conjunction with the Spring Meeting of the AICPA Council which is held every other year in Washington DC in order for Council members to make these important visits to each state’s legislators. Our delegation from Nevada met with each of our elected members of Congress or their staff liaisons in order to discuss the following important issues:
• “What’s at Stake?” – The CPA Profession on Federal Fiscal Responsibility: This updated video resource available for CPA’s, Policymakers and the Public reviews the federal government’s latest financial report and discusses the profession’s role in promoting the importance of the nation’s fiscal responsibility.
• H.R. 1129: The Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2013: This bill creates a uniform national standard that will limit state or local taxation of the compensation of an employee who performs duties in more than one state or locality to: (1) the state or locality of the employee’s residence and (2) the state or locality in which the employee is physically present performing duties for more than 30 days.
• S. 420 and H.R. 901: Tax Return Due Date Simplification and Modernization Act of 2013: These bills propose a shuffling of the original and extended due dates of corporate, partnership and other returns to improve the flow of information needed by taxpayers to timely file their personal returns. The bills propose new original due dates as follows:
There are proposed revisions to various extended due dates as well which for the most part remain in the familiar September/October time frame. For more information on these dates see the full text of the bills at www.govtrack.us.
• H.R 797: Municipal Advisor Oversight Improvement Act of 2013: This bill would clarify the definition of a municipal advisor and make it clear that providing customary and usual accounting services by CPA’s is not the same as providing municipal advisory services which now requires SEC registration under the Dodd-Frank Act.
• Our Nevada CPA delegation also discussed various other issues related to the general topic of tax reform which is of great interest to Congress in light of recent and not so recent events. For more information read the AICPA’s Principals of Good Tax Policy.
Our visits always prove to be enlightening for all of those involved be they the elected member of Congress, the staff liaison or the CPA’s participating in the meetings. We must never lose sight of the fact that we all have a voice in our democracy whether it be a visit to Capitol Hill, a phone call or email or the simple casting of a vote.