No, that’s not the latest lottery jackpot.
Over 12 million taxpayers filed for an extension this year
(according to the IRS). And the deadline is quickly approaching. This October
15th may feel more like April 15th as the 6-month extension to file 2012 tax
returns ends on Tuesday.
Procrastinators are scrambling to gather their paperwork and head over
to their tax preparer’s office to beat the deadline. If you’re one of the 12 million, here is a
quick list of the forms you need to locate before preparing your return.
- Social Security numbers – yours,
your spouses and your dependents
- Tax ID number of your child care
- W-2 from your employer – you
should have this by January 31
- Form 1099-MISC – if you worked as
- Form 1099-INT – for interest
earned on most savings accounts
- Form 1099-DIV - for each stock,
mutual fund or money market account. (If you used a broker, the broker
transactions will be sent on Form 1099-B.)
- Form 1098 – mortgage interest
paid for each home you own
- Receipts for any state and local
income taxes paid (such as your home, car, boat, etc.)
- Receipts for any charitable
- Mileage you traveled for
volunteer work - you can’t claim your time, but you can deduct your
mileage. (Use your calendar as documentation, mark the mileage driven on
the days you volunteered.)
Don’t be in such a hurry that you rush through the process and
miss credits and deductions. It is so important to double check your tax
return. Liberty Tax Service has a double-check process in place if you use them
A common misconception for filing the extension is to delay
payment. But this is not the case – if you owe taxes your payment deadline was
April 15. Late payment penalties and
interest are assessed when you
do not send the IRS your tax obligation by the tax deadline. The late payment
penalty is usually 0.5% of your unpaid taxes, with the maximum at 25%.
The IRS will also assess a late filing penalty of 5% of the unpaid taxes
not paid by the due date for each month your taxes are late, with a maximum
also at 25%. If your payment is more than 60 days past due, the minimum late
filing penalty is $135 or the balance of the taxes you owe, whichever is less.
On a more serious note, willful failure or fraudulent failure to pay taxes or
file a return have higher penalties (including possible jail time).
You have a number of options available
to pay your tax liability (that is, if you owe). Those that can pay their tax
liability in full can do so by debit or credit card, electronic funds transfer
or check or money order. Or taxpayers can ask the IRS for permission to make
monthly installment payments by attaching Form 9465, Installment Agreement
Request to their tax return. Another option for payments is to have the funds
directly debited from a bank account. A Liberty Tax consultant can assist you
with these options.
And many people still have time to file. The IRS has allowed more
time for some people, including members of the
military and others serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat zones (to
identify these zones visit http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=108331,00.html). Also people living in parts of Colorado’s designated disaster
areas have until December 2, 2013 to file and pay.
To find a
local Liberty Tax Service office, call 1-866-871-1040 or click
Disclaimer: Every effort has been taken to provide
the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this
blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the
information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking
professional tax advice based on your individual needs.