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IRS: If you are owed a refund file ASAP

Granite State News Collaborative
Published: 3/19/2020 3:36:19 PM

Tax preparers are busy taking appointments as the filing deadline approaches even with concerns over the growing spread of COVID-19.

“Clients are still coming in, and people want their taxes done,” said AJ Lorandeau, owner of Liberty Tax Service in Keene and West Lebanon. “The deadline for filing is still April 15, and you have 90 days to pay without any interest or penalties.”

This year’s tax season isn’t too different from years past in terms, except increased office cleaning and managing the flow of the people who come into his offices.

“We are only taking one appointment per hour so there is only one person in the office at a time, and we are wiping everything down in between appointments, he said, adding that people also have the option of calling in or filing online.

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. Individuals and businesses will have an extra 90 days to pay the IRS if they owe additional income tax for 2019, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday.

For those who can’t file by the April 15 deadline, the IRS reminds individual taxpayers that everyone is eligible to request a six-month extension to file their return as they could in any other year.

For those who typically qualify for free tax assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program or AARP, those locations are not taking appointments due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Larry Schwartz, a IRS certified tax preparer in Peterborough. He has helped run the River Center, which has offered free tax preparation services and is connected with the VITA program.

“The first thing people need to understand is the filing is not extended only the paying part,” Schwartz said. “If you are not going to owe money, there is no deadline ... there is no penalty.”

However, Schwartz’s main concern is that those who have relied upon free tax preparation services are not going to be able to get the in-person help they may need. Online filing is an option, not everyone has access to a computer or is computer literate. Schwartz doesn’t want to see anyone have to pay hundreds of dollars to get tax help.

“It makes me sick to my stomach,” he said.

The new deadline applies to federal tax income payments only. It’s up to states to set their own deadlines, and there are no changes in New Hampshire, according to the state Department of Revenue Administration.

The IRS says payment relief includes:

Individuals: Income tax payment deadlines for individual returns, with a due date of April 15, are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $1 million of their 2019 tax due. This payment relief applies to all individual returns, including self-employed individuals, and all entities other than C-Corporations, such as trusts or estates. IRS will automatically provide this relief to taxpayers. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this relief.

Corporations:

For C Corporations, income tax payment deadlines are being automatically extended until July 15 for up to $10 million of their 2019 tax due.

This relief also includes estimated tax payments for the tax year 2020 that are due on April 15. This relief does not apply to state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax.

Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of July 16. If you file your tax return or request an extension of time to file by April 15, you will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by July 15.

The IRS reminds individual taxpayers the easiest and fastest way to request a filing extension is to electronically file Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Businesses must file Form 7004.

Resources:

For New Hampshire specific information, visit: https://www.revenue.nh.gov/index.htm

The IRS also has resources for free tax filing assistance at: https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free

New Hampshire Tax Help has closed many locations but their website offers several resources to taxpayers: https://nhtaxhelp.org/

New Hampshire Legal Aid also offers tax help resources: https://nhlegalaid.org/self-help-guides/taxes

 

This story was updated Friday, March 20, at 11 a.m.




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