Extension deadline arrives

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — October 15 is the last day for people who received an extension from the Internal Revenue Service to file their 2018 individual tax return.

CPA Dave Young discussed what you need to do Monday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“This is the drop dead date,” said Young. “You’ve got your six month extension. Tomorrow it’s due. You need to get that in.”

For those who were granted an extension and now aren’t prepared to file on time, Young said that is a problem. “First of all, there could be penalties. Second of all, the statute of limitations doesn’t start clicking. So you need to get that return in as quickly as you can, and as accurately as you can. You’ve had, now, almost 10 and a half months to get this thing in. So, you know, the IRS isn’t going to look too kindly upon another delay. They’ve given you a six month extension. They expect that return in tomorrow.”

Young emphasized there is still time to pull your return together, but it starts with making sure you have all of the information you need to file. “Hopefully by now, you have all of your 1099s and W-2s,” he said. “Don’t forget, some of these big changes in the tax law which could definitely benefit you. Make sure you’re taking advantage of all of those things right now. I mean, you don’t have much time, but you should have all the things organized. Take your time, and make sure you don’t make any mistakes.”

Common mistakes according to Young include people filing as single when their status is actually head of household. “A lot of time people who are single, but they have a child living with them say – hey, my status is single. Actually, for tax purposes, you’re a head of household. That’s a very common area where you see people make a mistake. And you’re gonna get a bigger standard deduction and the tax bracket will actually be a little fatter for them, meaning they’ll be in a lower bracket for longer.”

Young added make sure you double-check all of the numbers on your tax return, including any math calculations. And when you do file, especially if you run a small business, it’s time to already look ahead to the next filing deadline. “We see a lot of people, self employed people typically extend, because they’re trying to get all their business records. Also, with cash flow, and how business is, they might not have made all their estimated tax payment, or not enough. So let’s say you’re getting a big refund. Make sure you roll that refund forward. It’s going to go from 2018 and be applied as if you made it in the first quarter of 2019. So that’s a wise thing to do. If you’re self employed, consider rolling that refund forward, particularly if you’re light on your estimates. It’s a big deal. It’ll avoid penalties for 2019.”

Still not sure what to do? Young said consult a trusted CPA for help.

For more “Smart Money” advice, visit the New York State Society of CPAs website.

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