WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers whose tax-filing extension runs out on Oct. 15 to double check their returns for often-overlooked tax benefits and then file their returns electronically using IRS e-file or the Free File system.
Many of the more than 12 million taxpayers who requested an automatic six-month extension this year have yet to file. Though Oct. 15 is the last day for most people, some still have more time, including members of the military and others serving in Afghanistan or other combat zone localities who typically have until at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to both file returns and pay any taxes due.
Before filing, the IRS encourages taxpayers to take a moment to see if they qualify for these and other often-overlooked credits and deductions:
The IRS urged taxpayers to choose the speed and convenience of electronic filing. IRS e-file is fast, accurate and secure, making it an ideal option for those rushing to meet the Oct. 15 deadline. The tax agency verifies receipt of an e-filed return, and people who file electronically make fewer mistakes too.
Everyone can use Free File, either the brand-name software, offered by IRS’ commercial partners to individuals and families with incomes of $58,000 or less, or online fillable forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms available to taxpayers at all income levels.
Taxpayers who purchase their own software can also choose e-file, and most paid tax preparers are now required to file their clients’ returns electronically.
Anyone expecting a refund can get it sooner by choosing direct deposit. Taxpayers can choose to have their refunds deposited into as many as three accounts.
Taxpayers can e-pay what they owe, either online or by phone, through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), by electronic funds withdrawal or with a credit or debit card. There is no IRS fee for any of these services, but for debit and credit card payments only, the private-sector card processors do charge a convenience fee. For those who itemize their deductions, these fees can be claimed on next year’s Schedule A Line 23. Those who choose to pay by check or money order should make the payment out to the “United States Treasury”.
Taxpayers with extensions should file their returns by Oct. 15, even if they can’t pay the full amount due. Doing so will avoid the late-filing penalty, normally five percent per month, that would otherwise apply to any unpaid balance after Oct. 15. However, interest, currently at the rate of 3 percent per year compounded daily, and late-payment penalties, normally 0.5 percent per month, will continue to accrue.
In many cases, those struggling to pay taxes qualify for one of several relief programs. Most people can set up a payment agreement with the IRS online in a matter of minutes. Those who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest can use the Online Payment Agreement to set up a monthly payment agreement for up to 72 months or request a short-term extension to pay. Taxpayers can choose this option even if they have not yet received a bill or notice from the IRS.
Taxpayers can also request a payment agreement by filing Form 9465. This form can be downloaded from IRS.gov and mailed along with a tax return, bill or notice.
Alternatively, some struggling taxpayers qualify for an offer-in-compromise. This is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. Generally, an offer will not be accepted if the IRS believes the liability can be paid in full as a lump sum or through a payment agreement. The IRS looks at the taxpayer’s income and assets to make a determination regarding the taxpayer’s ability to pay.
Very good experience and glad I made the decision to use this company. Michael was professional and courteous in all of my dealings with him. My tax dilemma was quickly resolved and Michael even waived much of his normal fee. Where else have you heard of a business doing that? Without question, I would recommend Landmark Tax Group for anyone seeking a fair resolution for a tax problem.
Michael was fantastic! He understood my case very quickly, got right to work and was super prompt with communications. His professionalism and his friendly demeanor immediately put me at ease. I whole heartedly recommend contacting them if you’re in need of advice and assistance.
I received great advice in how to deal with the FTB, i don’t review often, but when someone is honest and legitimate, they do deserve a review. My questions were answered, and if i didn’t quite understand, Micheal was more than willing to give me follow-up answers to better help me. I highly recommend Landmark Tax Group, just for the mere fact that they treat you as a human being, Not a cash cow.
I had some returns from previous years to complete after receiving a hefty bill from the California Franchise Tax Board. Michael was prompt in answering my questions and very helpful and reassuring. We had several back and forth communications and this was all done for free since they do not prepare tax returns. He gave me some contacts and advice and now I’m on my way to getting my situation resolved. I’m very thankful for his advice and guidance.
While Michael’s scope of practice meant that we ultimately could not work directly to resolve the issue I was having, he was very prompt, professional, generous and kind in taking time out of his schedule to consult with me, refer me to his network of colleagues- not just once, but a second time even months after. Some professionals are just after services and compensations but Michael strikes me as someone who genuinely cares about your situation and wants to see to it that it gets resolved. These other reviews speak to that as well. You never want to be in a situation where you need to be looking up tax help, but God forbid you ever are, Michael is the person you want in your corner!
Michael and Landmark Tax Group were simply awesome. I like so many others had a year’s old tax issue arise with California FTB. I no longer live there which compounded the stress of the situation. The state had seized monies and filed a lien. After a call to an online tax relief place and some sketchy phone calls I was so happy to find Michael and immediately felt in good hands… at a time of considerable panic.
Fast forward to today and with his help I am totally debt free. He saved me $23,000
I highly recommend Michael and Landmark Tax Group
Michael Raanan is an angel! Michael went above and beyond for me. He was very knowledgeable, professional and very thorough! He is easy to talk to and amazing at what he does. I have a feeling that everyone at landmark tax group shares this way of professionalism! I highly recommend coming here for any and all of your tax help. They will help you and you will be more than pleased with them. 🙂
After calling the other highly advertised tax assistant agency’s and being disappointed with how they responded to my tax matter, I feel fortunate to have found out about the Landmark Tax Group. Michael was very understanding of my situation, and I felt very comfortable dealing with him. He was very knowledgeable and professional in handling our tax issue in a timely manner. I would highly recommend The Landmark Tax Group to anyone who needs assistance in dealing with the IRS.
Wow, just wow. I called Michael today to ask about some major tax issues I had with a defunct corporation I’d started years ago. Michael talked to me for about half an hour, walking me through options and generally helping me understand my options.
Because of him, I’m going to rest nicely tonight for the first time in weeks. It was great to hear that he used to work in IRS collections for 8 years too… which made me feel a lot more secure in his answer.
In all, I’m completely stunned by the level of service he gave to a random stranger who called in and wasn’t going to turn into any revenue for him. I have to imagine that his level of service for actual customers is unreal.
Fast, dependable, reliable, full transparency. Michael Raanan of Landmark Tax Group allayed my fears spending the rest of my senior years paying my tax debt. As a result of his extensive knowledge of the tax code, the right questions to ask, and his dedication to my case, I had information, resolution and a plan of action within 24 hours, start to finish. Amazing! I highly recommend Landmark Tax Group!
We were very pleased with the expert assistance we received from Michael Raanan at Landmark Tax Group. In a matter of months we had a resolution to our IRS tax issue. He was very knowledgeable, professional, explained things in easy to understand terminology & was very easy to discuss our tax issues with. We called around to other tax groups & just felt the most comfortable speaking & working with Michael. We are happy to recommend him & his firm.
Michael Raanan represents the highest level of professionalism, integrity, decency, and true concern for his clients. His advice every step of the way was right on target. The end result was a savings of $13,000 on my taxes.
I have already referred him to the other members of my financial team and have complete confidence in referring any clients to him. He is a shining star in his field.
Oh, did I mention how reasonable his fees are? Exceptional considering the amount of attention he provides.