It’s One Minute Before Midnight…

…for most of us who file tax returns. The deadline is Tuesday, October 15th at midnight for those on extension. That’s it–there’s no tomorrow (well, there is…but not for filing) with three exceptions (noted below). So what should you do?

1. File a return as best you can. Most true tax professionals are going to be very busy through Tuesday–you are likely on your own (unless you made arrangements; I do have a client coming in the office on Monday but he made arrangements a month ago). The IRS website is quite good; so are most state tax websites. They can help you in what you need.

2. Don’t ignore paperwork because you don’t like it! If you have a 1099 and you don’t include it on your return, the IRS computer will likely figure that out.

3. If you don’t receive a K-1 but you should have, contact the entity on Monday and see if you can get a copy. If the entity has vanished–I have a client where the K-1 issuer is out of business, and the bankruptcy trustee has not filed the entity’s 2012 returns–include what you think should be on the K-1 on your return and include a Form 8082 (Hat Tip: Joe Kristan) to explain what you’ve done and why.

4. If you can’t pay anything or everything, still file the return! If you don’t file, you will get hit with the late filing penalty…based on April 15th! It would be the same as if you had never filed the extension. That penalty can be up to 25% of the tax due on your return. File the return–it’s a no-brainer.

5. File electronically, or use certified mail, return receipt requested. Get proof of your filing. Note that the Post Office is closed on Monday for Columbus Day.

6. If it’s after the Post Office has closed, used an Automated Postal Center (available in many post offices). You can pay for certified mail from these machines, and the date-stamp of the postage will be the date when you purchase the postage. If it’s 11:35pm on October 15th when you buy the postage, it will show up as October 15th on the stamp even if the envelope isn’t picked up until the next day!

7. Three exceptions on the October 15th deadline: Individuals impacted by the flooding in Colorado have until December 2nd to file their returns. Individuals who filed Form 2350 for their extensions (this form is used for individuals taking the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, and their Exclusion period does not end until after the October 15th extension deadline) have until the date on their Form 2350 to file their returns. And finally, individuals outside of the US on April 15th and who will be outside of the US on October 15th can request a second extension until December 15th (December 16th this year as the 15th is on a Sunday). Note that this request is not guaranteed to be accepted.

8. And don’t forget your state tax returns (if applicable).

One Response to “It’s One Minute Before Midnight…”

  1. […] tomorrow.  There are no further extensions available. Get ‘er done!  As Russ Fox says, It’s One Minute Before Midnight….  Russ has some excellent advice for last minute […]