Advice: Go ahead and file your taxes now

March 25, 2020

Barry G. Fowler

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The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service has extended by 90 days – to July 15 – the deadline for filing and paying taxes amid the COVID-19 emergency.

The extension is for all types of taxpayers, such as individuals, corporations, estates and trusts, or any type of unincorporated entities. For individual taxpayers, you can also apply for the normal extension to Oct. 15 with the normal Form 4868. Those extensions are due by July 15 as well.

However, for so-called pass-through entities, like S-Corporations, partnerships, and multi- member LLCs, this extension of time did not include those pass-through entities’ returns that were due on March 16. Those entities required extensions to be filed by the filing date of March 16. If you filed a timely extension, the due date is still extended to Sept. 15.

How does this effect our refunds? I recommend that owner-operators still try to meet the original April 15 deadline if they are expecting a refund. Refunds are still being processed timely by the IRS at this time. You should also have your return prepared now so that you can use the extended deadline to get your payment together, if you are going to owe, and to make sure your 2020 estimated tax payments are correct.

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If you have not filed your 2018 or 2019 tax returns, get them filed as soon as possible so that you are eligible for the coming stimulus check. We will have more information on the stimulus once the bill is passed, but it is a good time to make sure you have filed and updated your address with the IRS to be able to receive your check.

The IRS extension also provides relief and extends the deadline for the first quarterly tax estimate that was due Aril 15. It is now due July 15 as well. This did not change the due date of the second estimated tax payment due June 15. The IRS extension also gave time for making your contribution to your IRA as well as contributing to your health saving accounts and Archer medical saving accounts until July 15.

If you have already filed your 2019 taxes and scheduled your payment of taxes due, it is not too late to defer that payment to July 15. If you scheduled your payment as part of your tax filing, you may cancel your payment by contacting the US Treasury at 888-353-4537 at least two business days prior. Or if you scheduled through EFTPS, you can login in and click cancel payment.

I should also note that filing for a claim of refund on a 2016 tax return still must be filed by April 15 to be timely and granted a refund. This extension provided no relief for filing those claims for refund.

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The trucking experts at TruckerTaxTools.com know that currently, most owner-operators are extremely busy even more so than ever, getting supplies to needed areas. All Americans are thankful for your valued service. We know that the extension of time to file and pay is a relief to many. However, it is a good time to get things in order and use a service like we offer to manage your bookkeeping while on the road. All this helps you in making the right business structure choices, submitting correct estimated tax payments and running your business with good financial information.

About the author: Barry G. Fowler, EA, is president of Taxation Solutions and the tax expert at TruckerTaxTools.com.

Find more tax advice from Land Line Magazine here and here.