Monday, October 15, 2018, is the extension deadline for most taxpayers who requested an extra six months to file their 2017 tax return.
If you are due a refund there is no penalty if you file a late tax return. But if you owe tax, and you failed to file and pay on time, you will usually owe interest and penalties on the tax you pay late. You should file your tax return and pay the tax as soon as possible to stop them. Here are 7 facts that you should know about these penalties.
1) Two penalties may apply. If you file your federal tax return late and owe tax with the return, two penalties may apply. The first is a failure-to-file penalty for late filing. The second is a failure-to-pay penalty for paying late.
2) Penalty for late filing. The failure-to-file penalty is normally 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. It will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.
3) Minimum late filing penalty. If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty for late filing is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax.
4) Penalty for late payment. The failure-to-pay penalty is generally 0.5 percent per month of your unpaid taxes. It applies for each month or part of a month your taxes remain unpaid and starts accruing the day after taxes are due. It can build up to as much as 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.
5) Combined penalty per month. If the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty both apply in any month, the maximum amount charged for those two penalties that month is 5 percent.
6) File even if you can’t pay. In most cases, the failure-to-file penalty is 10 times more than the failure-to-pay penalty. So if you can’t pay in full, you should file your tax return and pay as much as you can. Use IRS Direct Pay to pay your tax directly from your checking or savings account. You should try other options to pay, such as getting a loan or paying by debit or credit card. The IRS will work with you to help you resolve your tax debt. Most people can set up an installment agreement with the IRS using the Online Payment Agreement tool on IRS.gov.
7) Late payment penalty may not apply. If you requested an extension of time to file your income tax return by the tax due date and paid at least 90 percent of the taxes you owe, you may not face a failure-to-pay penalty. However, you must pay the remaining balance by the extended due date. You will owe interest on any taxes you pay after the April 15 due date. ... See MoreSee Less
Here’s how taxpayers can protect themselves from scammers
The IRS Does Not: •Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. •Demand taxpayers pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed. •Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law enforcement to have someone arrested for not paying. •Threaten to revoke someone’s driver’s license, business licenses or immigration status.
The IRS Does: •In general, first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. •Normally initiate contact with taxpayers through mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. •Present official identification when visiting a taxpayer. Taxpayers have the right to see these credentials, and – if they would like – the representative will provide them with a dedicated IRS phone number for verifying the information and confirming their identity. •Call or visit a home or business under certain circumstances. This includes when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or criminal investigation. Even then, taxpayers will generally receive several letters from the IRS in the mail first. •Assign certain cases to private debt collectors, but only after written notice is given to the taxpayer and their appointed representative. •Offer several payment options. Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to the IRS, not a private collection agency. ... See MoreSee Less
Newly Designed 1040 Tax Form coming out for the 2019 Tax Season!
As part of a larger effort to help taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service plans to streamline the Form 1040 into a shorter, simpler form for the 2019 tax season.
The new 1040 – about half the size of the current version -- would replace the current Form 1040 as well as the Form 1040A and the Form 1040EZ. The IRS circulated a copy of the new form and will work with the tax community to finalize the streamlined Form 1040 over the summer.
This new approach will simplify the 1040 so that all 150 million taxpayers can use the same form. The new form consolidates the three versions of the 1040 into one simple form. At the same time, the IRS will still obtain the information from each taxpayer needed to determine their tax liability or refund.
The new Form 1040 uses a “building block” approach, in which the tax return is reduced to a simple form. That form can be supplemented with additional schedules if needed. Taxpayers with straightforward tax situations would only need to file this new 1040 with no additional schedules.
Since more than nine out of 10 taxpayers use software or a tax preparer, the IRS will be working with the tax community to prepare for the streamlined Form 1040. This will also help ensure a smooth transition for people familiar with software products and the interview process used to prepare tax returns.
Taxpayers who file on paper would use this new streamlined Form 1040 and supplement it with any needed schedules. ... See MoreSee Less
Taxpayers who owed additional tax when they filed their 2017 federal tax return earlier this year can avoid another unexpected tax bill next year by doing a “paycheck checkup” as soon as possible, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the tax reform legislation passed in December, made major changes to the tax law, including increasing the standard deduction, removing personal exemptions, increasing the Child Tax Credit, limiting or discontinuing certain deductions and changing tax rates and brackets. These far-reaching changes could have a big impact on the tax refund or balance due on the tax return people file next year. The IRS encourages every employee to do a “paycheck checkup” soon to ensure they have the correct amount of tax taken out of their pay. ... See MoreSee Less