For taxpayers who requested an extension to file their 2016 taxes, the time has come. The deadline for filers who received a six-month extension from the usual April 2017 date is Monday, October 16, but there are a few things to know about filing requirements and additional relief available for those affected by federally-recognized disasters.
Have your 2015 tax return ready to find AGI
Some taxpayers will need to supply the adjusted gross income (AGI) from their 2015 tax return in order to file the 2016 return electronically. AGI is equal to the gross income minus certain adjustments. On 2015 tax forms, it can be found on line 37 of Form 1040, line 21 of Form 1040A, and line 4 of Form 1040EZ.
Taxpayers are supposed to save their tax forms for a minimum of three years but those who have not may be able to retrieve copies of their 2015 returns through tax filing software of from their tax preparer. Taxpayers may also be able to order a tax transcript from the IRS, but there is no guarantee this will arrive in time; the IRS instructs that the process may take five to 10 calendar days.
Extended filers may get further relief due to disaster
Taxpayers who already requested an extension may be eligible for further time to file due to this year’s disasters. If a valid extension is already in effect and the taxpayer is located in or affected by an area federally declared a disaster, they may have additional time. This applies to those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as those in parts of Michigan and West Virginia. Qualifying individuals have until January 31, 2018 to file certain individual and business tax returns.
For business filers, a number of other filing deadlines are also affected. In addition, the IRS is waiving late deposit penalties for payroll and excise taxes.
For taxpayers with an address on file located within a disaster area, the IRS will automatically grant a filing extension and/or penalty relief. However, when taxpayers are located outside a disaster area, but are relying on records from entities located within the FEMA zones, it is necessary to contact the IRS.
Penalties for missing a filing extension deadline
Though the IRS offers extensions to prevent unnecessary hardship, missing the extended deadlines will still lead to unwelcome consequences. If the filing is ultimately made late, individuals and businesses taxpayers alike face fines and penalties.
The amount of a late penalty depends on a few factors. It will vary based on the type of taxpayer (individual or business, and further by type of business), and the amount of taxes owed. If there are no taxes due, a late filing may still result in a monthly penalty; when taxes are due, the penalty is more likely to be based on a percentage of the amount due.
Be sure of your tax filing responsibilities in Maryland
A tax filing extension can be immensely helpful, but the changing deadlines also lead to uncertainty. Rather than risk an untimely filing, speak with knowledgeable Maryland tax lawyer at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg. To discuss your filing obligations, call today for a consultation.
Additional “Extended Tax Filing Deadline” Resources:
- Comptroller of Maryland, Extension Filers: Deadline is Monday, Oct. 16, http://comptroller.marylandtaxes.com/Media_Services/category/news-releases/
- IRS, 2017 Federal Tax Calendar, https://www.irs.com/articles/2017-federal-tax-calendar
- IRS, Tax Relief in Disaster Situations, https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-in-disaster-situations