Tax filing deadline is here, are you ready?

April 16, 2018

Barry G. Fowler


Because the traditional deadline for filing your taxes fell on the weekend, you have – make that “had” – a little bit of extra time to file. Tuesday, April 17, is the deadline for filing your 2017 income taxes.

Here are two very common questions we get on or near the filing deadline.

Q: I am on the road and cannot get my taxes filed on time. What should I do?
 You should file an application for automatic extension of time, Form 4868. An extension means that you are extending the filing of your income tax return for six months, until Oct. 15. However, it is not an extension of time to payany taxes due. Therefore, if you think you are going to owe money on your 2017 return, you should get it paid by April 17 so you can eliminate the late payment penalty.

A general rule in most cases is to have paid in 110 percent of the total tax from your 2016 tax return. You will have to estimate the amount of tax due on Form 4868. The IRS can invalidate an extension if the tax is understated. An extension is valid even though the tax estimated on Form 4868 is not paid. Even with an extension, if you owe taxes and pay the balance when you file your tax return after April 17, the IRS will charge you late-payment penalties and interest.

Q: I still haven’t received my tax refund. What should I do?
If you haven’t received your tax refund you can go online and check with your E-filing service (if you E-Filed) to see the status of your return. If everything checks out, you also can call the IRS at 800-829-1040. Make sure you have a copy of your return on hand when you call or go online because you will need your Social Security number, filing status and exact dollar amount of the refund. If the IRS never received the return, file another copy. There will be no penalty since you are getting money back.

Next, check your federal tax refund status on the IRS website and go to “Where’s my refund.” If everything still checks out via the IRS website and you still have not received your refund, call the IRS at 800-829-1954 to check your refund status.

Barry G. Fowler, EA, is the CEO of Taxation Solutions. He is an expert specializing in IRS problem solving, tax resolution and financial planning. His firm, Taxation Solutions, has settled millions in IRS tax debt. He also has worked closely with OOIDA Foundation online education series on “Dealing with the IRS.”