IRS postpones April 15 tax-filing deadline by one month— but there’s one caveat

IRS postpones April 15 tax-filing deadline by one month— but there’s one caveat

The Internal Revenue Service said it’s pushing the tax-filing deadline from April 15 2021 to May 17 2021.

“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a statement Wednesday.

The May 17 deadline is the deadline to pay any taxes owed, and it is the deadline to submit a return. People can still get an extension to Oct. 15, but that’s only more time to send in a return and does not afford more time to pay taxes.

One caveat to IRS announcement
There is one caveat, however. The IRS notes the extended deadline only pertains to federal income tax payments. It doesn’t affect a state’s income tax deadline.

IRS extends Economic Impact Payment deadline to Nov. 21 to help non-filers

IRS extends Economic Impact Payment deadline to Nov. 21 to help non-filers

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) is now November 21, 2020. This new date will provide an additional five weeks beyond the original deadline.

The IRS urges people who don’t typically file a tax return – and haven’t received an Economic Impact Payment – to register as quickly as possible using the Non-Filers: Enter Info Here tool on IRS.gov. The tool will not be available after November 21.

“We took this step to provide more time for those who have not yet received a payment to register to get their money, including those in low-income and underserved communities,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The IRS is deeply involved in processing and programming that overlaps filing seasons. Any further extension beyond November would adversely impact our work on the 2020 and 2021 filing seasons. The Non-Filers portal has been available since the spring and has been used successfully by many millions of Americans.”

Special note: This additional time into November is solely for those who have not received their EIP and don’t normally file a tax return. For taxpayers who requested an extension of time to file their 2019 tax return, that deadline date remains October 15.

To support the ongoing EIP effort, many partner groups have been working with the IRS, helping translate and making available in 35 languages IRS information and resources on Economic Impact Payments.

To help spread the word, the IRS sent nearly 9 million letters in September to people who may be eligible for the $1,200 Economic Impact Payments but don’t normally file a tax return. This push encourages people to use the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov.

“Time is running out for those who don’t normally file a tax return to get their payments,” Rettig added. “Registration is quick and easy, and we urge everyone to share this information to reach as many people before the deadline.”

While most eligible U.S. taxpayers have automatically received their Economic Impact Payment, others who don’t have a filing obligation need to use the Non-Filers tool to register with the IRS to get their money. Typically, this includes people who receive little or no income.

The Non-Filers tool is secure and is based on Free File Fillable Forms, part of the Free File Alliance’s offering of free products on IRS.gov.

The Non-Filers tool is designed for people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married couples, and $12,200 for singles who could not be claimed as a dependent by someone else. This includes couples and individuals who are experiencing homelessness.

Anyone using the Non-Filers tool can speed the arrival of their payment by choosing to receive it by direct deposit. Those not choosing this option will get a check.

Beginning two weeks after they register, people can track the status of their payment using the Get My Payment tool, available only on IRS.gov.

IRS Warns Against Corona Virus Fraud, and Other Scams

IRS Warns Against Corona Virus Fraud, and Other Scams

The IRS is reminding taxpayers to be on the lookout for corona virus fraud and other scams.

According to a release from the IRS, criminals continue to use the corona virus relief payments as a cover to steal personal information and money.

Below are some corona virus schemes the IRS is urging taxpayers to look out for:

  • Using relief payments as a cover to get personal information and money
  • Selling fake at-home test kits
  • Selling fake cures, vaccines, pills and advice
  • Selling large quantities of medical supplies through fake shops, websites, social media accounts and email addresses
  • Setting up fake charities
  • Offering opportunities to invest early in companies working on a vaccine for the disease
  • Phishing scams using emails, letters, texts and links

Scams should be reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or submitted through the
web complaint form here –> https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form

 

Stimulus Payments Are Finally Flowing – Did You Get Yours; Was It Correct?

Stimulus Payments Are Finally Flowing – Did You Get Yours; Was It Correct?

The IRS has finally started making those much anticipated Economic Impact Payments, aka “Stimulus Payment.” However, not everyone who was expecting one has received theirs, and some may not be the amount expected.

The Treasury first looked for a filed 2019 return when they began making the payments. If a 2019 return was not filed in time to catch the payment dates, they used the family makeup and income from the 2018 return if one was filed. If neither was filed, then they paid rebates to recipients of Social Security, SSI disability, survivors, Railroad Retirement and veterans’ benefits.

Someone who does not fit into one of those categories is generally deemed to be a non-filer and will not receive a rebate until they either file a return or use the Non-Filer Tool on the IRS website.

You can check on the status of your rebate using the “Get My Payment” feature at the same IRS webpage as the non-filer tool. That same page also provides the ability for some taxpayers to enter their direct deposit information If the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit information in their records, you can use Get My Payment to submit that information after properly verifying your identity and if the payment hasn’t already been scheduled for processing. To protect against potential fraud, Get My Payment won’t allow direct deposit bank information already on file with the IRS to be changed. However, direct deposit information can be updated for people whose direct deposit information on the last return filed was incorrect and resulted in a paper check being issued for their refund. Unfortunately, address changes cannot be made through Get My Payment.

Also realize there may have been births, deaths, under age 17 dependent children, marriages, separations, divorces, emancipations, and income changes that can cause the rebate amounts to be different from what may have been expected, or in some cases, be incorrect. On top of all that, the rebates are reduced (phased out) for higher income taxpayers, so based on your reported adjusted gross income on your 2019 return (or 2018 if 2019 hasn’t been filed yet), you may only qualify for a reduced rebate or no rebate at all.

The IRS provides an extensive Q&A related to rebate issues and situations that may answer any questions you may have related to your rebate.

Who Qualifies as a Dependent on Taxes?

Who Qualifies as a Dependent on Taxes?

Deciding if Someone Qualifies as a Dependent on Your Tax Return

How Do I Know if I Can Claim Someone as a Dependent?
To start, there are a few basic requirements that need to be met to claim someone else as a dependent:

No one else can claim you, or your spouse if you’re filing a joint return, as a dependent. Even if the person chooses not to claim you as a dependent, the fact that they could makes you ineligible.
You generally can’t claim anyone who is married and files a joint return. However, there are exceptions if the person only files a joint return to get back income taxes that were withheld from paychecks or estimated tax payments.
The person you’re claiming must be a U.S. citizen, resident alien (which can include undocumented residents), U.S. national, or resident of Canada or Mexico. There are also some exceptions for adopted children who lived with you in the U.S.
These general rules apply to everyone. Additionally, the person you’re claiming must meet all the requirements to be your qualifying child or qualifying relative.

The Two Types of Qualifying Tax Dependents
Children and relatives can qualify as tax dependents—but their definitions are broader than you may suspect.

In addition to your birth child or an adopted child, your foster child, siblings, half-siblings and step-siblings (along with all the siblings’ descendants) can be qualifying children. And your son-in-law, mother-in-law, parents, grandparents and in-laws could all be qualifying relatives.

A person doesn’t even need to be a relative to count as a qualifying relative. A girlfriend, boyfriend or roommate could be your dependent as long as the person is a member of your household for the entire year and meets all the other requirements.

The IRS’ Publication 17, chapter 3, has a complete list of which relationships can qualify someone as a child or relative for dependent purposes.

In addition to the relationship requirement, the qualifying child or qualifying relative has to pass a series of “tests.”

Qualifying Children
There are four tests for qualifying children:

The child must be 19 or younger at the end of the tax year and younger than you (and your spouse if you file a joint return). Qualifying children can be up to 24 years old if they’re also full-time students for at least five months of the year, or they can be any age if they’re permanently and totally disabled.
The child has to live with you for at least half the year. There are exceptions for temporary absences, such as when you or the child are away from home for school, business, vacation or military service.
The child can’t provide more than half of his or her own support during the year (scholarships don’t count as support).
The child can’t file a joint tax return unless the only reason for filing is to get back the taxes that were withheld from his or her pay or were part of estimated tax payments.
The rules for who can claim a qualifying child can get fairly complex when both parents can claim the child as a dependent but they aren’t married, or they file their tax returns using the married filing separately status.

Some parents switch off, letting one person claim the child one year and the other parent claim the child the next. The IRS also has an official series of tiebreaker rules (see page 30 of Publication 17) to determine who can claim the child if you can’t come to an amicable agreement.

Qualifying Relatives
There are three additional tests for your qualifying relatives:

The person can’t be anyone’s qualifying child.
The person’s gross income must be below $4,150. Income could include money, property, goods or services they received, and it may include Social Security benefits. However, there are exceptions for people with disabilities who received income from certain tax-exempt schools.
You have to provide more than half of the person’s support for the year.
If working through all the tests sound like too much work, you could also try the IRS’ interactive tool, which can help you determine if you can claim someone as a dependent.

DISCLAIMER: Because each individual’s legal, tax, and financial situation is different, specific advice should be tailored to the particular
circumstances. For this reason, you are advised to consult with your own attorney, CPA, and/or other advisor regarding your specific situation. 

Have further questions?  Please contact our office and make an appointment.

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