If you’re behind on your tax preparation and are scrambling to file your taxes before the April 15 deadline, you’re not alone. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), nearly 25% of Americans file their tax returns just two weeks before the deadline!
In order to save last-minute filers from added stress, we’ve listed four quick tips to meeting the 2021 tax deadline. We are here to help with and be a resource for tax preparation.
Relax! But also consider the penalties.
If you’ve found yourself spiraling into a state of stress because you still haven’t filed your 2020 taxes, take a deep breath. There is always the option of finding help or filing for a tax extension. However, while it’s important not to panic, it’s equally as important to understand the penalties that come with filing your tax return late or not filing at all. Even if you can’t afford to pay your taxes, you should still file a return. The IRS imposes a failure-to-file penalty of 5% of the unpaid taxes each month a tax return is late. If you do file a return but don’t pay what you owe on time, you will face a late payment penalty. We can help if you’re not sure about how to file a tax extension or need assistance with completing your tax return on time.
Get your tax preparation documents in order.
Before filing your tax return, make sure that your forms and documents are in order. This includes gathering personal information of everyone included on your tax return, your W-2 Form, financial statements, last year’s state refund amount, miscellaneous income records, and any and all 1099 forms. It may help to create a checklist while digging through your filing cabinets (or your email!) at home.
File for a 2021 tax extension.
Last year, the IRS extended the tax deadline by three months due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to note that, as of this writing, an extension is not expected in 2021. However, all tax filers—regardless of income—are eligible to request an extension. If approved, tax returns must be filed no later than October 15.
Hire a tax accountant.
Depending on your personal and financial situation, you may feel it best to hire a certified public accountant to file your return. Tax accountants have years of education and certification under their belts and are accustomed to following the guidelines issued by the IRS. If you’re short on time or feel overwhelmed at the thought of filing your own taxes, hiring a tax preparer might be the right choice for you.
Tax preparation doesn’t have to be stressful, even if you’ve put off filing your 2021 return. If you’re looking for last-minute tax preparation reassurance, contact us today! Our CPAs will analyze your personal situation and guide you through the process.
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