Late tax deadline means three extra days to get taxes won
H&R Block offers extended office hours for nearly 45 million who still need to file
The nearly one in three taxpayers who wait until April to file a tax return have a few extra days this year to do so and avoid late-payment and late-filing penalties. The tax return deadline is April 18 this year, giving taxpayers three extra days to file a return or an extension and pay any tax due before those penalties kick in. Whether taxpayers are looking to come to an office early, later or even later, H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) will offer extended hours in select offices nationwide to assist procrastinators with last-minute tax filing.
Scheduling quirk extends deadline to April 18
This year, the normal tax return deadline of April 15 falls on a Saturday. Because Emancipation Day is observed in Washington D.C. on the next business day, the deadline moves to Tuesday, April 18. Taxpayers must file either a completed return or an extension by April 18 and pay at least 90 percent of their tax liability to avoid penalties and interest.
“Even with a few extra days, more procrastinators and other late filers this year are rushing to get their taxes done. But it’s not too late to get their taxes won. First, procrastinators should make sure they don’t overlook any tax benefits or make mistakes that leave money on the table. And if they don’t have time to do this by April 18, they need to file an extension to avoid adding extra penalties and interest to their bill,” said Kathy Pickering, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block.
Filing an extension helps but doesn’t exempt procrastinators from paying
The penalty for not filing a tax return is 10 times greater than the penalty for not paying in full. The best way to avoid this penalty, which could add up to 25 percent to their tax bill, is to file a completed tax return or apply for an extension. However, an extension doesn’t apply to any payments due.
“The extension to file is not an extension to pay for those taxpayers who owe the IRS money. Taxpayers must pay at least 90 percent of their 2016 tax bill by April 18 or they will face late-payment penalties and interest,” said Pickering. “Still, filing an extension will save them the larger failure-to-file penalty.”
The penalty for not paying in full is 0.5 percent of the unpaid balance per month with a maximum of 25 percent. The monthly penalty for not filing a tax return is 5 percent and capped at a maximum of 25 percent. For example, for someone who owes $1,000, the failure-to-pay penalty starts at just $5 per month, but the penalty for failing to file a return starts at $50 per month.
Taxpayers who cannot pay have options if they work with the IRS
If a taxpayer can’t pay their balance due all at once, they can request a short-term extension to pay, make an installment agreement or even pay with a credit card. In some instances, the taxpayer may qualify for an offer-in-compromise. By working with the IRS, taxpayers may reduce or eliminate their penalties.
“If they’re having trouble paying their tax bill, taxpayers can save time and money when they are short on both by talking to a tax professional about their options. A tax professional can help them determine the best way to pay their tax bill in their unique situation,” said Pickering.
“It’s in the mail” doesn’t always cut it
Taxpayers filing on paper and mailing their returns need to make sure they get the return in the mail on time. A mailed return must be postmarked by the deadline, but if they aren’t using U.S. postal services, taxpayers need to make sure they use an approved delivery service. Otherwise they could incur late-payment and late-filing penalties even if they send the return on April 18.
H&R Block guarantees taxpayers won’t leave money on the table
The tax refund is the single largest financial transaction many taxpayers will have in a year. Refunds average almost $3,000 so far this season. The stakes can be high and mistakes can be costly. That’s why H&R Block guarantees taxpayers their maximum refunds. Additionally, H&R Block’s new, exclusive, consumer-facing experience combines the best of person and machine. H&R Block tax professionals, augmented with IBM Watson, this tax season help deliver the best outcome for each unique tax situation, while helping clients better understand how different filing options can impact their tax outcome.
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.
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 2016, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3 billion with 23.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom.