Most taxpayers do not relish thinking about taxes, preparing taxes, or filing their taxes. Therefore, many taxpayers attempt to minimize the amount of time they think about their taxes. In today’s busy world where an array of demands constantly compete for our time and attention, this can mean that we may inadvertently procrastinate and fail to address our taxes until the days before they are due.
While the IRS and California FTB will excuse lateness in certain extreme circumstances, most taxpayers do not have a justifiable excuse for their failure to file. Simply put, “I was too busy” or “I forgot” isn’t going to get you particularly far with either the IRS or FTB and you will potentially end up owing interest and penalties on your late filing, late payment, or both. If you experienced a severe, life-altering injury or illness, you may have a justifiable excuse, but situations of this type are understandably rather rare.
Therefore, taxpayers should ensure that they have their tax filing in by the deadline and pay and liability by the same. Luckily, taxpayers have a bit of extra breathing room to file this year.
Tax Day is April 18, 2016, for the 2015 Tax Year
Most Taxpayers know that tax day is usually April 15th. That would mean that tax day would ordinarily be scheduled in just a few days on this coming Friday. However, this year tax day is anything but ordinary. Due to a federal holiday and a weekend taxpayers are allotted an extra three days to file this year. That is, this Friday, April 15, 2016, is a federal holiday known as Emancipation Day in Washington D.C. Since, federal government offices are closed on Friday, taxes are not due. Furthermore, tax day can’t fall on a weekend. Therefore, the filing and payment deadline for the 2015 tax year is now Monday, April 18th, 2016.
However, for some taxpayers who have yet to consider their tax filing, the extra weekend may still fail to provide enough time to get their filing done. Rather than rush through your filing and potentially make errors and other mistakes, it can make sense to apply for an extension of time to file. Applying for an automatic extension can be done at both the state and federal level.
How Do I File for an IRS federal tax Extension and a California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Extension?
If you are thinking about filing for an extension of time to file your taxes, it is important to note that you will likely have to take action at both the state and federal level. Furthermore, it is essential to note that an extension of time to file only affects the time you have to file taxes. It does not impact your obligation to pay your taxes in a timely manner.
For their federal income taxes, taxpayers can request a filing extension by IRS Form 4868 Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. When this form is successfully filed and accepted by the IRS, the taxpayer is granted a six-month extension of time to file his or her taxes. However, the taxpayer should always estimate his or her taxes to determine whether he or she is likely to have a tax liability. Taxpayers with a tax liability should make an estimated payment of at least 90% of the projected tax bill to the IRS when they file their extension. Taxpayers who fail to take this action may be subject to interest and penalties.
If the taxpayer wishes to file a state income tax extension with the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the process he or she will face differs based on his or her tax situation Once again, the taxpayer should always estimate his or her projected tax liability or refund. To do this he or she can use the worksheet found on FTB Form 3519. If the taxpayer does not owe money or is expected to get a refund, he or she does not have to take any action. However, if the taxpayer expects to owe state taxes, he or she must pay the tax and file FTB Form 3519 Payment for Automatic Extension for Individuals.
Work With a Los Angeles Tax Attorney
If you have questions about your taxes, are facing a potential tax audit, or want to correct past tax mistakes and non-filings the Hoffman Law Offices may be able to help. Robert Hoffman is a California tax lawyer who takes a strategic approach to all tax matters. To schedule a confidential consultation call 800-897-3915 today or contact us online.