Tax day nears; have you filed yours?
April 12, 2013
April 15, marks the last day to file individual tax returns and a day that local tax professionals get to take a breath of relief after the busiest time of year in the tax preparation business. Last minute filing wasn’t the norm at H & R Block in Granby, where many local residents filed in late January and early February, according to Kristie DeLay, at licensed tax preparer at the store.”People who know they are going to get a refund will file early so they can get the refund early,” DeLay said. Others may wait until the last minute to file taxes, especially if money will be owed.One thing the last minute filers can do is file for a six-month tax extension to the IRS.Filing an extensionA six-month tax extension allows citizens to still file taxes on Oct. 15, giving more time to complete the paperwork for personal taxes. While filing for an extension does give more time to finish the paperwork for the IRS, it does extend the time citizens have to pay any tax owed. Citizens will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April 15 deadline and could also owe a penalty for failing to pay on time.If one does not file taxes or an extension, one could incur a 25 percent penalty on any money owed.If he or she can’t afford to pay the full amount owed to the IRS, he or she can apply for a payment plan using the Online Payment Agreement tool that can be found at the IRS’s website at IRS.gov. One can also file an Installment Agreement Request, or Form 9465, with a return if experiencing financial hardships and are unable to make payments. Citizens can also call the IRS at 888-829-1040 to discuss options.”Generally, the IRS will set up a payment plan for people,” said Lorrie Tanquary, owner of the H & R Block in Granby and a certified tax professional.Best deductionsIndividuals and married couples filing together can receive deductions and tax credits for a number of items, some of the most beneficial of these are deductions for children and dependents and deductions for owning a home and having a mortgage. Citizens can also receive tax credits for attending college or for paying interest on student loans.One of the least advantageous ways to file is as a married couple with children filing separately because it can knock out the deductions they may be able to receive for children, DeLay said.Around the cornerWith upcoming health care reform, by 2014 everyone will be required to have health insurance. This could impact 2015 taxes as a failure to comply with the new regulation could mean a penalty on 2015 returns.All tax pros should be giving out preliminary information about the upcoming health care reform, Tanquary said.With the end of tax season right around the corner, tax pros are looking forward to a little bit of rest and relaxation after a busy season.”You know it has permeated your life when you dream exemptions,” DeLay said.Delay mentioned she plans to get a massage and party once tax season is over.