San Francisco Tax Preparation / CPA: IRS Reminds Taxpayers Who Missed July 15 Deadline to File Now to Avoid Penalties
The IRS has reminded taxpayers who missed the July 15 deadline without requesting an extension about some important tips, including filing electronically as soon as possible to reduce potential penalties. Normally, taxpayers must file and pay their taxes or request an extension by the deadline. It is worth noting that an extension to file is not an extension to pay. Accordingly, penalties and interest would apply to taxes owed after July 15. Further, some taxpayers may have extra time to file and pay their taxes without penalties. These include:
- Members of the military who served or are currently in a combat zone. They qualify for an additional extension of at least 180 days to file and pay taxes.
- Support personnel in combat zones or a contingency operation in support of the Armed Forces. They may also qualify for a filing and payment extension of at least 180 days.
- Some disaster victims. Those who qualify have more time to file and pay what they owe.
Ordinarily, the failure-to-file penalty is 5-percent of the tax owed for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. But if a return is filed more than 60 days after the due date, the minimum penalty is either $435 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. Late-filing and late payment penalties add up quickly, so it is important to file and pay as much tax as possible. Therefore, even taxpayers who cannot afford to immediately pay the taxes have been advised to still file a tax return as soon as possible in order to reduce possible penalties.
Taxpayers can pay their tax dues using IRS Direct Pay, by debit or credit cards or apply online for a payment plan, including an installment agreement. The IRS website has several other electronic payment options. Moreover, taxpayers can look for help from tax professionals using Choosing a Tax Professional. Alternatively, there are various types of tax return preparers, including enrolled agents, certified public accountants, attorneys and some who don’t have a professional credential. Finally, taxpayers have fundamental rights under the law that protect taxpayers when they interact with the IRS as presented in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in 10 categories. The IRS’s Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, highlights these rights and the agency’s obligation to protect them.