Pine’s Tax Extension Cheat Sheet
This has been an intense tax season.
For those of us in the tax professional community, there have been emails, message board postings and blog posts flying about the difficulties that many have been facing with regards to all of the additional paperwork called for in the ACA (“Obamacare”) regulations — not to mention the normal round of new tax law changes that we saw.
But you know what has kept me sane? You.
This is the busiest week of our year, this last full week, and we continue to experience graciousness, warmth and encouragement from our clients. I’d like to think that it’s purely because we do such an excellent job, but that wouldn’t quite account for all of it.
We have the best clients of any tax professional firm in the nation, and realizing this, as we have, makes this next week or so vastly better, and more encouraging.
So, before I get to the content of what I have for you today, I wanted you to know how we have been feeling about YOU (among others). More about this soon.
Now, a couple quick reminders about what ELSE April the 15th means…
1) Wednesday, April 15th is the deadline to contribute to IRA’s, etc., in order to have them count on this year’s (2014) taxes.
2) It is also the deadline to claim the almost $1BN in unclaimed refunds for returns dating back to 2011. If you, for some reason, didn’t file for that year, you could be missing out. Call us for this special circumstance: (817) 581-9292
(Or for any other question — but again, bear with us, as we are extremely busy!)
Pine’s Tax Extension Cheat Sheet
“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’” – Brian Tracy
There is a lot of confusion, every year, about filing a tax extension, so allow me to share what it’s REALLY about …
As you know, Wednesday, April 15th is the filing deadline for a federal tax return. If you need more time to get your paperwork complete, you need to file (or have us file on your behalf) Form 4868 (Automatic Extension of Time to File —http://1.usa.gov/1DcfWno) with the IRS by the end of the day on the 15th. This gives you an automatic six-month (until October 15, 2015) extension of time to file.
Here’s the bottom line: An “Extension of Time to File” is not an “Extension of Time to Pay”, unfortunately — except for certain cases (more on these in a moment). In normal circumstances, the Extension simply gives you an automatic six months of additional time to get your paperwork together and file that return.
But, if you owe more than what you paid with your estimate, you’ll be accumulating penalties and interest on the difference — so PLEASE don’t take the entire six months to do this!
The exception to this rule is for:
1) Those who have served in combat zones during any taxable events (including earning income) are given the same amount of time they served in the combat zones + 180 days — and this applies to filing *and* paying those taxes. More information for those affected by that is here: http://1.usa.gov/1IDkuTE
2) Any US citizens or resident aliens who live and work abroad automatically have until June 15th to file and pay their taxes (unless already covered by my first provision above)
3) If you have been affected by certain natural disasters. The official list is here: http://1.usa.gov/1FvZrlv
So, if that’s you — let us know. We’ll help you get the relief you need.
For the rest of you, when filing your “Extension of Time to File”, you’ll need to estimate what you think you owe to the IRS. This should not be pulling numbers out of thin air (or various body parts). You’ll still need to go through your receipts and tax documents and get them “somewhat” organized.
From here, you can estimate both your income and your expenses, and then approximate what you owe Uncle Sam. Keep in mind that this is an ESTIMATE. And, you’ll have to pay what you estimate you owe at the time we file for the extension.
You can do this all electronically through our office, you can mail in the form WITH estimated payment (must be postmarked by the 15th), or you can call a specialized provider and pay by credit card. We can provide you with the appropriate number to call.
Pine & Company CPAs, PLLC