Taxpayers have until today (July 15) to request an extension to file their 2019 federal tax return. If an extension is approved, taxpayers could have until October 15 to file, but any taxes owed are due by July 15.

Common Tax Return Errors

The IRS has noted the following common tax return errors:

  • Missing or inaccurate Social Security numbers
  • Math errors
  • Inaccurate filing status
  • Incorrect calculation of credits or deductions
  • Unsigned returns
  • Filing with an expired individual taxpayer identification number

The IRS highly encourages taxpayers to use the e-file or IRS Free File system. The IRS software will formulate calculations, flag common errors, and prompt taxpayers for missing information, all of which ultimately reduces tax return errors. A tax return containing errors can delay refunds.

What if I can’t pay my tax bill?

Taxpayers who owe money and can’t pay all taxes have the following options:

  • Online Payment Agreement. Most taxpayers may qualify to use Online Payment Agreement to set up a payment plan (some set-up fees may apply). Taxpayers can setup a plan on IRS.gov/paymentplan.
  • Delaying Collection. The IRS may determine a taxpayer is unable to pay and could delay collection until the taxpayer’s financial condition improves.
  • Offer in Compromise (OIC). Taxpayers who qualify for an OIC can enter into an agreement with the IRS that settles their tax liability for less than the full amount owed.

Need an Extension?

Individual taxpayers who need more time to file their 2019 federal tax return can submit Form 4868, using Free File on IRS.gov, to request a tax-filing extension. It is important to note that an extension of time to file does not grant the taxpayer an extension of time to pay any taxes that are owed. Therefore, upon filing an extension request, a taxpayer must estimate and pay any taxes owed by the July 15 deadline to avoid any potential penalties. If the taxpayer does not pay the taxes due at the time of filing for an extension, the extension may be denied. Businesses should file Form 7004 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns).

Paycheck Checkup

Taxpayers should consider reviewing their withholding amounts each year, in order to avoid having too much or too little tax withheld, especially when life changes occur, such as marriage, childbirth, adoption or buying a home. The IRS Tax Withholding Estimator is an excellent tool to help taxpayers plan and implement any needed tax withholding adjustments.

How quickly can I receive my tax refund?

The fastest way to receive a refund is to file your federal tax return electronically and provide your direct deposit information. Taxpayers who file electronically and request direct deposit for their refund can check on their refund by using the Where’s My Refund? tool available on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go mobile app. For more tax tips, visit https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-tax-tips. If you need assistance with any tax matters, please feel free to reach out to me at Sara.Qureshi@henlaw.com for a consultation.