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T-Minus One Week Until Tax Day!

Don’t panic.

That’s the first, simplest piece of advice we can give to last-minute filers who are reading this blog post hoping to figure out how to get their taxes together with a week or less to go before the April 15 deadline.

Now that you’ve taken a few deep breaths, read along as we share three commonsense tips about what to do next if you haven’t filed your taxes yet.

1. Get Your Ducks In a Row

Are you going to try to go it alone with tax software? Or maybe you’re looking for professional tax help in the home stretch? Either way, you need to get all pertinent information in order – amateurs and pros alike need accurate information to properly file taxes in a way that keeps you out of hot water with the IRS.

If you’re filing your individual taxes, some of the forms you’ll need include income statements, such as W-2s from traditional employers, or 1099s for things such as freelance work or stock dividends; the 1095 form that offers proof of health insurance; and 1098 forms showing interest paid for mortgages (or 1098-E for federal student loan debt). You’ll typically be using Form 1040 to file your returns.

If you’re a business owner, you’ll need several other forms. For instance, if you sell goods, you’ll need records of all gross income from sales, but if you provide services, you’ll need to gather any Form 1099-MISCs. You’ll also need all receipts for business expenses (so you can properly claim deductions). You can get a couple ideas for easy-to-understand deductions here.

And if you’re a business owner, you’ll not only need to fill out Form 1040 for yourself, but depending on your business structure, you may need to fill out self-employment tax forms, such as Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ. You may also need to fill out Form 1040-ES, which helps you determine your estimated quarterly tax payments for the coming year.

2. File for an Extension

If you think there’s no way you can get your taxes figured out on time, you can file for an extension. Individuals will file Form 4868,  while businesses will file Form 7004. In both cases, the typical extension time is six months.

An important reminder, however: You’re filing for an extension to file your tax return– not pay your taxes. You still must make an estimate of how much you’ll owe, and make a payment to the IRS. Thus, even if you think you won’t have time to finish filing your taxes before the deadline, it’s still crucial to organize all your information right away so you can make a decent estimate. If you under-pay, you might end up having to pay extra in interest and penalties, but that’s far better than absorbing the penalty for not paying on time at all.

3. Seek Out Professional Tax Help

Most tax preparers are going to be swamped heading into the tax deadline. But if you find yourself in this situation, you want to reach out to a professional tax account ASAP, for two reasons:

  • There’s an off-chance that they will be able to assist you with your current dilemma, which is far better than going it alone.
  • You need to ensure that you’re not in the same year-end rush when you file taxes in 2020 and beyond.

If you’re in need of some last-minute tax help, especially if you’re a business owner, look no farther than McManamon & Co. We have decades of experience in providing comprehensive tax support, including federal, state and local preparation; payroll taxes; and compliance. We can also help with filing for an extension.

Rushing your taxes across the finish line is stressful, but help is just a phone call or email away. Call McManamon & Co. at 440.892.9088 or contact us online today.

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