(Virginia Beach, VA) The countdown is on to one of life’s ultimate deadlines, the dreaded tax filing deadline. This year, it’s April 18. Taxpayers will have the luxury of time, with a few extra days to file this year. The filing deadline will be Monday, April 18, 2011 because the holiday, Emancipation Day is Friday, April 15. This holiday is observed in the District of Columbia, so federal workers will be off that day.
Last-minute taxpayers may find that fewer post offices are open until midnight for drop-off service. Liberty Tax Service offices will extend hours during the final days of the tax filing season so taxpayers can e-file their tax return or extension around the clock up to the midnight deadline. As taxpayers face the Federal tax filing deadline, those who owe taxes have some choices.
IT’S TIME TO FILE TAXES OR AN EXTENSION REQUEST
The IRS will grant an automatic six-month filing extension to taxpayers who file or e-file a timely extension application. Taxpayers do not need to provide a reason for their request. Individual taxpayers need to file or e-file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, by April 18 to be granted a filing extension until October 17, since October 15 falls on a Saturday this year.
Taxpayers who owe can elect to have funds withdrawn electronically using a credit or debit card if they e-file their return. Or they can enroll in the U.S. Treasury’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System that enables electronic fees withdrawals with no additional fees.
“An extension of time to file a tax return still does not constitute an extension of time to pay any tax liability,” said John Hewitt, CEO of Liberty Tax Service. “Penalties and interest accrue from April 18 if the tax liability has not been paid.”
INSTALLMENT PLANS FOR THOSE WHO OWE
What can someone do who owes the IRS money but can’t pay the full amount by April 18? Taking out a bank loan may be the least costly option. Another option is to ask the IRS for permission to make monthly installment payments. If you are not currently on an IRS installment plan, complete Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. This form can be e-filed with other tax forms or it can be attached to a return and mailed. To limit penalty and interest charges, the taxpayer should pay as much of the tax due as possible when sending in the return.
Taxpayers who have already mailed or electronically filed their returns can mail Form 9465 to the appropriate IRS Service Center. The IRS usually approves or denies installment requests within 30 days of receipt.
The IRS will approve or deny the request by sending out a written response. If the IRS approves the request, they will send you a notice detailing the terms of your agreement and requesting a fee of $105 ($52 if you make your payments by electronic funds withdrawal). However, you may
qualify to pay a reduced fee of $43 if your income is below a certain level. These payments must be made on time, and the taxpayer must agree to meet all future tax liabilities. One available option to ensure timely payments is to have the funds directly debited from a bank account. Taxpayers may request this by completing line 11 of the Form 9465.
Taxpayers can charge their taxes owed to a MasterCard, VISA, Discover, American Express Card or a debit card. They can also pay on the Internet by going to:
www.PAY1040.com or call 1-888-PAY-1040
www.officialpayments.com or call 1-888-UPAY-TAX
www.payUSAtax.com or call1-888-9-PAY-TAX
A convenience fee applies when making credit card payments.
IRA DEADLINE IS ALSO APRIL 18
Taxpayers still have until April 18 to open a traditional Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) that may help lower tax liability for this year. Starting in tax year 2010, taxpayers covered by a pension plan can also deduct IRA contributions if they meet the modified adjusted gross income requirements. A couple filing married filing jointly whose income is under $109,000 can take a deduction, and so can single taxpayers (including head of household filers) making less than $66,000. The contribution limit for 2010 is $5,000 ($6,000 if age 50 or older). Taxpayers converting traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs are not subject to modified AGI and filing status requirements.