If you’ve waited this long to file your taxes, you’ve still got time. And you’ve also got company.
Federal tax returns for 2017 need to be filed today and many last minute filers are rushing to prepare their forms.
About one in five tax filers last year submitted returns within two weeks of the deadline to file and this year the IRS reports tax returns so far being filed at the same pace.
If you think you won’t make the deadline, seek an extension to get some more time to accurately prepare the forms. Individuals can file for an extension online.
Though people who owe money will still need to pay what they owe due by end of day April 17 or face a penalty.
“The federal, state and city governments will give you an extension of time to file, but it’s not an extension of time to pay,” said Bill Duncan, a CPA with Dayton accounting firm Thorn Lewis & Duncan.
Beth Grubb, RSM partner and tax leader at the firm’s Moraine location, said it’s better to seek an extension and take the time needed to file taxes correctly than to rush through and submit something that could have errors.
“The government would rather have something accurate and complete, but they do want their money tomorrow,” Grubb said.
The IRS reported as of April 6 that it had received more than 103.8 million tax returns. More than 92 percent were e-filed, with about 56 percent of those e-filed by tax professionals.
While the majority of taxes were e-filed by tax professionals, IRS statistics show the number of returns that were self prepared inched up 2.2 percent compared to last year.
The number of people who e-filed their taxes was up 0.5 percent as of April 6 compared to the same time last year. Early numbers so refunds so far total $227 billion and the average refund is $2,864.
It’s not too early to start thinking about next year and how the sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code will affect people and businesses filing taxes a year from now based on decisions they make this year.
Income investments have been doing well, but that comes with tax obligations, said Beth Grubb, RSM partner and tax leader at the Dayton location.
“There’s tax due with that investment income and we encourage tax payers to talk to their accountant and financial advisers now to plan for a tax efficient investment strategy now verses the end of the year,” Grubb said.
Grubb said that in light of the changes in the tax code, she would advise people to revisit their tax plan.
“There are business owners who should look at their entity structure and how they can minimize their tax and take advantage of write offs for their equipment and property,” she said.
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