Individual tax returns are due Wednesday April 15, 2020. 2 (It is also the date that the first 2020 quarterly payment is due if required.) But…hold the phone! In 2020 taxpayers get one extra day to file and pay. Why? Because 2020 is a leap year. So, then, Happy Leap Year!
Now if you have your supporting documents and information ready to file, you certainly can do so before April 15 if you wish. The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on January 27, 2020. 3 You can do that directly on the IRS website, through several proprietary websites or store-front tax preparers, or through private registered tax return preparers or certified public accountants. (Some tax lawyers also can prepare returns – in fact, this writer knows a few lawyers who are also CPAs.) Tax return forms are available for no-charge here.
For qualified individuals, the IRS provides the free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) service to help those people prepare their tax returns. 4 Qualified people include those “who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns”. 5 VITA service locations can be found here.
There is also a similar service called the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program, which “offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.” 6
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Not everyone has simple financial situations to present in their individual tax returns. For example, real estate investors, business owners, and partners in enterprises will have specific tax needs. Those people are encouraged to seek professional tax preparation assistance. (Yes, it will cost, but most likely less than the penalties and interest which can accrue for late or incorrectly prepared tax returns.)
A short ‘side note’: If it appears an extension will be needed to submit a return attend to that matter once the need becomes apparent. (Just like with a school project…) Proper filing will provide an extension until October 15. Extension information, and access to the proper forms.
A second ‘side note’: The discussion above relates largely to individual tax filers. There is a ‘whole nother’ set of forms and dates for business entity tax returns. For the most part, those filers should work with professional tax preparers, and particularly with CPAs.
So get out the ole shoe box of receipts, organize them, get your Form 1040, and prepare, file, and pay your return. Or use a professional tax preparer. But do not delay. Start today. (Look! A law poem…)
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– For more information, call Philip N. Kabler of the Gainesville, FL office of Bogin, Munns & Munns at 352.332.7688, where he practices in the areas of business, banking, real estate, and equine law. He has taught business and real estate law courses at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business Administration and Levin College of Law and is the President-Elect of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association.
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NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.
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