January 11th, 2021
Written by: Peyton L. Derrow
Each year, the default tax-filing deadline is April 15 (give or take a few days), and it appears that 2020 tax filings will be no exception. Despite the IRS pushing the 2019 federal income tax filing deadline back three months for taxes due in 2020, it is uncertain that the IRS will give taxpayers the same leeway for 2020 taxes due in 2021.
While the pandemic caught everyone by surprise in 2020, it is no longer a surprise a year later and has evolved into an ongoing part of life that tax-filers should have prepared for over the past 12 plus months. At least that is “Uncle Sam’s” theory at the moment. The government’s position could certainly change under the incoming Biden administration, but for now, this means Americans, should be prepared to file their taxes by April 15, 2021. This applies to all taxpayers, including individual filers, trusts and estates, corporations, non-corporate tax filers, and self-employment tax filers.
The 2020 Federal Income Tax Deadline is April 15, 2021: Now What?
Get a head start on your 2020 tax return. Odds are, that the world will still be fairly unsettled by the time taxes are due in 2021. Covid-19 cases will likely only have started to fall in any meaningful way by April and two-thirds of American will still be unvaccinated. Thus, the best option is to start on your tax return as soon as possible.
Most of us will receive the tax forms we need, such as W-2s, 1098s, and 1099s by the end of January. Some of us will have lingering brokerage statements that may not arrive until late February. Be proactive. If you do not have what you need by February 1st or 21st in the later case… shake some trees, find out why, and get your documents. Once you have everything, start preparing your returns immediately. Regardless of if you do it yourself, use tax software, or utilize an experienced tax professional… get your return started. For anyone with even a slightly more complex tax picture, it is typically best to get your returns prepared by a professional such as a CPA, Tax Attorney, or an enrolled agent. It’s a lot less expensive to pay a tax professional to prepare your taxes in the first place than it is to pay a Tax Attorney to represent you during an IRS audit because your lack of tax code expertise waved a red flag in the face of an IRS Auditor.
Reminder, you can submit a tax return ahead of the filing deadline. This is highly recommended because the sooner you submit your tax return, the sooner you will receive your refund if you are owed money. The IRS says it will issue most tax refunds within their standard 21-day timeframe.
Should you need more time to file beyond the April 15 deadline, make sure to file an extension and be sure to pay or slightly overpay your estimated taxes by the deadline even if you are filing an extension. The extension is extra time to file, it’s not extra time to pay! Penalties and interest will start accruing immediately so even if you can’t pay the full estimated taxes due, pay every bit you can when you file your return or extension on April 15th. Now is the time to start planning an installment agreement if you can’t pay your taxes in full. This will allow you to pay your tax bill in installments and avoid outrages penalty fees. If your outstanding tax debt is too great, you may be eligible to receive an offer in compromise (OIC) which allows you to settle debts for less than the amount owed. An experienced Tax Attorney is probably the best bet to help you apply for and negotiate an OIC because they are one of the rare few professionals who are able to negotiate directly with the IRS on your behalf.
Reach out to Carolina Tax Resolutions if you need help filing your current or past-due taxes
At Carolina Tax Resolutions, we strive to help North Carolina taxpayers put their tax issues behind them and make it easy to stay compliant moving forward. If you can’t pay your taxes in full, there are options available, and our team of professionals are here to help you each step of the way. We will negotiate with the IRS and the NC Department of Revenue on your behalf and we won’t stop fighting for you until your matter is resolved.
If you have any questions about filing your 2020 tax return or want a free tax consultation, please call us at 919-916-1000 or visit or fill out our online contact form