Here in Huntington, New York -- the Long Island winter season can often seem as if it takes an eternity to pass.
That is, until you glance at the calendar and realize that you haven’t even started making any preparations for the final (and most imperative) Rite of Spring: TAXES!
(Keep reading for a special offer available to Living Huntington readers...)
Are you one of the estimated 45 million filers who still haven’t finished their 2017 tax returns?
If so, you’re probably feeling some level of stress and anxiety about your pressing tax matters and the looming deadline. But, as the statistics indicate, you are not alone.
We recently sat down with Tim Ryan of Accountant on the Go (your Long Island experts in financial and tax management for individuals and small businesses) for some last minute suggestions as to how to manage these final few moments before the rapidly impending Tax Day threshold.
Here’s what he had to say...
Tim – thanks for taking a few minutes out of your schedule to share these suggestions with us.
My pleasure – tax season is definitely a stressful time of year for many of us, so I’m always happy to try and help.
So what can one do to try to get through these last few days as “painlessly” as possible?
Well – let’s begin with a couple bits of “good news”! This year you actually have 2 extra days to prepare your taxes, as the deadline is April 17; which is due to the traditional April 15 filing date falling on the weekend. Also – while many people feel cornered by the quickly approaching deadline -- the truth is that waiting for the last minute to prepare and file your taxes is not necessarily the end of the world.
That’s reassuring! Do you happen to have a few specific bits of practical (or potentially money-saving) advice you’d be willing to share with Living Huntington readers to assist them as they prepare to file a last minute tax return?
First – a quick review of your 2016 tax return can help remind you of what you typically deduct on an annual basis.
Second – always look for ways to lower your taxable income. One last minute option is to open or fund an individual retirement account (IRA – or SEP IRA if you are self-employed) by April 17. If the paperwork is completed before you file your tax return you may be eligible to receive a 2017 tax deduction for contributions up to $5,500 ( and $6,500 for those 50 years and older).
Third – Consider filing your tax return electronically. Filing electronically can be faster, “easier”, and will almost certainly cut down on the blizzard of paper on your kitchen table. While filing electronically may sound daunting; one can access the IRS’s e-file service using various commercial software solutions, through a professional tax preparer -- or directly through the IRS’ e-file “free file” service.
Finally – If you just can’t get it all done before the deadline – be sure to file for extra time.
Filing Form 4868 by April 17 extends the filing deadline, and gets you an extra six months (until Oct. 15) to prepare your materials and file your taxes.
I recommend this option to many of my clients who feel pressured by the quickly impending tax deadline.
If you decide to file for an extension, IRS Form 4868 can be e-filed either through a tax-prep service, on the IRS’s website, or filed on paper - the same as your regular tax return.
But remember: filing for a six month extension to file your taxes does not get you an extension from paying your taxes due. To avoid late-payment penalties, filers must pay 90% of their total tax bill by April 17. Underpayments may incur late payment penalties.
Thanks, Tim! This information should certainly give some of our readers a little peace of mind! It sounds as if many options are still open for those who want to make the push to file their taxes before the deadline, as well as those who absolutely know that they would benefit from the additional time a six-month extension will provide them.
Exactly. I hope these thoughts help some of your readers. And, certainly if anyone has any additional questions, or is looking for assistance with their tax preparation materials, I am always available to sit down with them and discuss what their most advantageous options are.
GOOD NEWS! A SPECIAL OFFER FOR LIVING HUNTINGTON READERS:
Even if you’re late to the game this year - Accountant on the Go can help! And whether you are an individual, or a small business, they will also work with you to prepare ahead of time for next year in an effort to optimize your tax strategy!
If you are a Huntington-area individual or business owner who has either been going the annual tax process alone, or hasn't had an experienced professional with a fresh set of eyes look at your financial scenario in the past couple of yours - you will probably be surprised at what a single phone call or email to Tim Ryan of Accountant on the Go Inc. can put in motion for you!
Accountant on the Go Inc. has partnered with Living Huntington to offer all of our readers a free tax consultation. It's quick. It's painless. It doesn't cost anything. And remember: Taxes are something you need to plan ahead of for maximum benefit - so the best time to get started is right now!
Use the buttons below to contact Accountant on the Go Inc. today - let them know you saw this article on Living Huntington for your free tax consultation!
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