Have you filed your tax returns yet? If you are one of those who is worried about late filing and penalties, you can rest assured that the IRS will not be coming after you, extending the April 15 deadline for filing tax returns. At a zoom conference for ethnic media outlets hosted by Ethnic Media Services, IRS officials shared vital information about the new deadlines for filing taxes. The discussion centered around this plus related tax issues – how provisions in the American Rescue Plan might affect your taxes, new provisions in the Earned Income Tax Credit, and cautioned against scams.
Ken Corbin, Commissioner, Wage & Investment Division, while giving assurance of a successful filing season shared that the tax year 2020 had received 85 million returns by February 12 of which 70millioin had been processed and was on course to process 160million by the end of the season.
He shared that the goal of the IRS was to meet tax obligations and help taxpayers and communities during this pandemic. May 17, 2021, is the new deadline to file and pay taxes for the year 2020. The good news here is also that no penalties or interest would be levied if done by that date. This extension does not however apply to corporations and individuals who make estimated tax payments in the first quarter of the year 2021. They must pay by April 15th, 2021. The extension covers :
- ROTH IRA
- Health Savings Account
- Education Savings Account.
Another additional extension could be given until October 17th. May 17th, 2021 is the extension date to file and not for payment. Payments due to pay are May 17th.
Mr. Corbin emphasized the need to file when everything needed for filing is ready so as not to make mistakes that could delay returns. You should only file after gathering all documents, and the file is completely accurate especially for W-2, 10-99 for the entire year.
He also recommended electronic filing and direct deposit due to the pandemic. This makes it faster to receive returns and refunds as well.
ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENT: For the stimulus and economic impact payments and rebates, the IRS is working hard to assist the federal government in disbursements of payments. While most EIP 1 and EIP 2 have been paid if you have not received it yet you can still file and claim for the tax year 2021. This year you can log into a tax account to view the amount of EIP return received. You can check at www.irs.gov to review the required processes.
THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN: The third round of the EIP first batch was disbursed on the day after by direct deposits, paper checks, and pre-paid EIP cards. Please look out for these cards and if you accidentally throw away your card you can call the IRS for a new card.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION: A change was made for many impacted by the 2020 pandemic who are filing for the first time. For the tax year 2020, the amounts included are non-taxable. For those who have already filed, they will be adjusted and refunded. They do not have to do anything unless there is a need for an adjustment.
Sue Simon, Director of Customer Assistance, Relationships & Education, Wage & Investment Division, works with a team with a mission to provide services in so many languages. Documents are also now being translated as well into 20languages at www.irs.gov. There you can find information on filing, including how to file, and when to file.
She reiterated that e-filing is the critical and best way to file as fewer mistakes are made this way. For $72000 income and below there is a free IRS tool with guidance and for income above $72,000, there is a small fee.
For those who need a little more help and the elderly there are mobile apps that will make it easy.
She cautioned against bad tax preparers who advertise getting more money. There is no such thing she said. Choosing a tax professional on www.irs.gov is a good place to find help.
Scams she said are on the rise and she warned against calls that claim to be from the IRS. The IRS never calls anyone unless they have sent several bills first. Scammers will use familiar numbers pretending to be from the IRS and threatening you, please do not say a word and hang up. They may take what you say and use it in a different context.
Also, look out for a fake email that looks like IRS logos, do not click on such links. Please report any impersonations to the IRS.
REFUND TIMING: Always 21days after filing electronically and up to 6weeks if paper returns. Visit www.irs.gov if you do not get your refund afte\r this period.
If you owe the IRS money you will not get a refund. File your taxes on time to avoid interest and penalties. If you can’t afford please call to make arrangements or set up a payment agreement to get rid of your IRS debt.
To Find Status of Refund: You need the following:
- social security
- filing status
- refund amount.
This can be done on a computer and if you do not have a computer, you can download the app and proceed.