In this rather unusual year, it is important that you do not forget to file your Federal Income Tax return this week. Many, many taxpayers took advantage of the IRS postponing the due date for the 2019 tax returns by 91 days to July 15, 2020. This step was taken in response to some of the confusion and uncertainties surrounding the pandemic and was meant to be a help to taxpayers but not an excuse from the obligation of filing and paying tax.
Of course, taxpayers may still request an extension to the filing of their returns until October 15, 2020, provided of course that the taxpayer pays the amount due by July 15, 2020. That extension is in line with the usual rules; it was the extension of the initial filing date of April 15 that was unusual. Note that a failure to file and pay now may subject a taxpayer to various penalties as well as interest which accumulates steadily on unpaid balances at a three percent annual rate.
Given the number of returns that must be processed, don’t be surprised if your tax professionals are quite busy, just as they normally would be at this point in April. Perhaps enough taxpayers have already submitted their returns that the remaining returns won’t be as burdensome as in a typical year. In any event, if you haven’t already gotten your return completed or at least organized, don’t dawdle but get your paperwork in order and an appointment scheduled with your tax professional.
If worst comes to worst, filing an extension and submitting a payment is not too difficult a process and will allow you another three months to get all your information organized to allow for filing that return. Whatever you do, though, don’t ignore the need to file and pay since an extension is not the same as an exemption!