Extended tax deadline day is today

Experts say pay what you owe even if you can't file an extension

Tom Puckett
July 15, 2020 - 4:00 am

    Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The last thing on your mind in mid-July in a typicl year is probably income taxes.  But not this year.  In the heat of the summer, it's time to think April 15th and all of the ramifications that come with that traditional tax deadline day.

    Tax day is finally here.

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    The coronavirus has extended this year's tax deadline by three months, but there are still last minute filers, and experts are giving advice.

    "Typically, folks do file their taxes around the end of the year, and we saw a lot of that happening. Then the pandemic struck, so that may have set small businesses and contractors back on their heels becuse they want to wait until the tax deadline to pay those taxes, and they don't want to have to release that money if they owe until they absolutely have to," says Caleb Silver of Investopedia. "You have until today to file your taxes, returns, pay your penalty, pay your estimated taxes for the first two quarters of this year or file an extension. Anyway, you have to communicate with the IRS."

    Silver says keep an eye out for deductions, especially if you haven't been in the office since the pandemic. "Many people do work from home so that home office deduction is a big deal, so if you work from home, make sure you take that deduction. Travel expenses, those are deductible, as are electronics and other aspects of small business," notes Silver. He also warns of scams. "If you get a phone call or an email from the IRS, remember the IRS never calls or emails, so that's a scam. You gotta look at your mail, and look at those forms. Make sure you're sending it to an IRS service center because the scammers are out in force right now."

    It's been a busy couple of days for Esther Gulyas at EG Tax. "We had more phone calls yesterday with people saying I think I forgot about (the deadline) until now, what am I going to do," says Gulyas. She says whatever you do, make sure you file, and pay if you owe. "An automatic extension does not extend the deadline to pay the tases. Those taxes are due (today). If you can't get the paperwork together, make sure you send the money with the extension or it's null and void," warns Gulyas.

    Gulyas says the returns can be amended if you left off something in your hurry. "Take a look at everything and make sure you have all of your income because what will generate an audit faster than anything is all of your income's not on your return," notes Guylas. "People especially have a propensity to leave off their stock sales because they don't think it was sold. They think their broker just moved it around. If it was moved around it was sold so you have to make sure you put that on there. If you have capital gains or qualified dividends, you have to use the Schedule D worksheet to prepare the tax liability otherwise, you'll overpay."

    "If you're sending it electronically, all the numbers have to be accurate. Your employer ID number and everything else you're inputting has to be perfect." 

    Gulyas says the penalty for not paying is less than failure to file substantially, so make sure the return is filed by tonight. 


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