In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought much of the world’s daily business to a halt. Months later, we are only beginning to see a fledgling restart, and can probably expect some setbacks along the way. The deadline for filing tax returns has been in mid-April since the 1950s, but this unprecedented disruption caused by the pandemic has also delayed the deadline for filing 2019 tax returns to July 15, 2020. Here are a few tips as taken from the website of the Internal Revenue Service.
- Even if you can’t pay, you should still file by July 15th. Late filing will certainly result in penalties, so file by the deadline. You can work with the IRS to make payments, if necessary.
- Beware of scams. Many scammers will disguise themselves as IRS agents by phone or email, to coerce you into giving them personal information. The IRS says that their agents will never initiate contact with you by email, text, or social media platforms. Most contact is made through the regular mail. Even if you owe money, IRS agents will never demand that you pay over the phone with your checking account or credit card information. And if an agent visits your home or business, they will provide two forms of credentials for identification, including an HSPD-12 card.
- Do a paycheck checkup. The IRS website offers a tool that will help you calculate how much taxes you will pay in 2020, and if you are on track to receive a bill or a refund when you file next year. You will need your most recent pay stubs and tax return, for you and your spouse if you are married. If it seems you will owe more than you want to pay at once, adjust your W-4 form with your employer to have more withheld from your paycheck. If you will be getting a big refund, you can lower your withholdings now to receive more in your paycheck now and less of a refund in 2021.
- Get help if you need it. You can file your taxes online through various websites with great instructions. Check the website for the IRS and the Maine Revenue Service to find those resources. If you have any doubt that you are filing your form correctly, consider hiring an accountant or professional tax preparer. Also, check your local community for free tax help.
With these tips, hopefully, tax time will be the least stressful part of 2020!
For small business tips in regards to COVID-19, click here!