april15Remember back on April 15, when you asked the IRS for that six-month extension to file your tax return? Well, the IRS tax filing deadline for 2014 is almost here. You must file your 2013 tax return by October 15.

If you haven’t already filed, now is a good time to start pulling together the paperwork you will need. A good idea might be to create paperwork piles or file folders for the different categories you’ll find on your tax return. Those categories include: income, deductions, capital (stocks and bonds), and credits (child care). This will make it easier when you sit down to do your tax return or you visit your tax preparer.

It’s also wise to look at copies of your past tax returns. You will want to make sure you’re getting all the deductions and credits for which you’re eligible, especially if you’ve had any life changes, like a new bundle of joy in the house or the old bundle headed off to college.

Then, it’s time to get those taxes done.

Exceptions to filing deadline are few

Don’t hesitate, because the IRS makes few exceptions to this tax filing deadline. One exception is for members of the military. Those serving in a combat zone have 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file tax returns, pay taxes, claim a tax refund or take any other actions with the IRS.

If you are not eligible for an exception to the tax filing deadline and you miss it, you will be assessed a late filing penalty by the IRS. That penalty is 5 percent per month on any tax due from October 15 until you file your tax return.

Speaking of penalties, when you applied for that extension on the tax filing deadline, you should have estimated any income taxes you might owe and paid that amount to the IRS. If you didn’t, the IRS will charge a penalty of 0.5 percent per month of any income tax not paid by April 15. The maximum penalty is 25 percent.

Money problems? Let IRS know

If money is tight, and you can’t pay what you owe by the tax filing deadline, don’t try to hide.

File your tax return and pay the IRS what you can. Then contact the IRS. Through its Fresh Start program, the IRS allows taxpayers to set up a payment plan. It also allows those suffering undue hardships to skip payment for a time. To qualify, you will have to provide information about your finances, so the IRS can evaluate your request.

You don’t have to feel like you’re alone as the tax filing deadline for 2014 nears. You can visit the IRS website to learn more. And, if you’ve got questions about the tax filing deadline or your tax return, you can always contact Liberty Tax Service at 1-877-at-Liberty.

Disclaimer: Tax Lounge is an informational source for industry news and related topics. We take every effort to provide honest and accurate tax information, but this information should not be a substitute for professional tax advice. Use our office locator to find your local tax office or click here to subscribe to our free newsletter. Follow Liberty Tax on Facebook and Twitter.