H&R Block offers clutch tax tips for procrastinators
Tax deadline moves to April 17, giving taxpayers a couple extra days
Taxpayers have just a few days left to get their taxes won before the tax filing deadline. This year, the normal filing deadline of April 15 falls on a Sunday. Because the next business day, Monday, April 16, is Emancipation Day which is observed in Washington D.C., the deadline moves to Tuesday, April 17, giving taxpayers a couple extra days to file their tax return. In addition to the extra days, taxpayers can also get extra help during extended hours at H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) tax offices across the nation, which will be open until the last client is served.
According to a recent survey*, 80 percent of respondents believe they are clutch: capable of responding well under pressure and with a deadline looming. With just days left until the tax deadline, time will show who is clutch and who is not.
“The cost for coming up empty after the tax deadline could mean waiting even longer for a refund, or if you owe, paying additional penalties and interest on the unpaid amount,” said Kathy Pickering, vice president of regulatory affairs and executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block. “The good news is there’s still time to come in clutch and avoid penalties and interest.”
File something and pay by April 17
To avoid penalties and interest, taxpayers should file either a return or an extension as well as pay at least 90 percent of their tax liability by April 17. An extension will give them until October 15 to file their return, but not to pay their taxes.
“To avoid penalties, you have to pay at least 90 percent of your taxes due,” said Pickering. “A tax professional can help you estimate your tax liability or you can use a tax calculator online to figure out your tax liability and make any necessary payments to avoid the penalty.”
E-file to avoid delays, mailing mishaps
E-filing, which H&R Block helped the IRS test in 1986, has become the normal tax filing experience for more than 9 in 10 taxpayers. It’s the preferred method whether a taxpayer uses a tax professional or prepares their own return. Filing a paper return not only can take longer to process, but there are potential hazards in getting it to the IRS on time.
“Waiting to mail your paper return could end up costing you if you don’t use an approved delivery service,” said Pickering. “It’s not just that you can’t use carrier pigeon. Ground service from companies like DHL, FedEx or UPS isn’t going to cut it in the eyes of the IRS, which will consider those returns late if they arrive after the deadline.”
If a taxpayer uses the U.S. Postal Service, the return needs to be postmarked April 17 or earlier. It does not need to arrive by the deadline.
Get help online or in an office
H&R Block’s tax professionals will help clients claim all the tax breaks they are entitled to and file their returns or extensions so they can avoid failure-to-file penalties that could quickly add up to 25 percent on top of their tax liability. H&R Block locations will be open until the last client is served. H&R Block digital solutions are available 24/7.
For additional help estimating their tax liability, filing an extension or understanding their payment options, taxpayers may contact a local H&R Block tax professional. To find the nearest H&R Block office, visit www.hrblock.com or call 800-HRBLOCK.
* Survey of more than 3,000 commissioned by H&R Block.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2017, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3 billion with 23 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom.