If you still haven’t filed, you’re almost out of time.
Due to the pandemic closing IRS and tax prepper offices, as well as just generally muddling everyone’s finances, the US government made the decision to push the deadline for this year’s tax returns from April 15 to July 15. Guess what? July 15 is next Wednesday. If you still haven’t filed, then you’re seriously coming down to the wire, and there’s a few special considerations you may need to make.
Firstly, if you’re still not ready to file your return, whether that be because you haven’t obtained the right documentation or your income is fluctuating too much, you do still have the option to request an extension. You can have the deadline for your return pushed back as far as October 15, but doing this comes with a big caveat: even if your return is pushed back, you still need to pay any owed taxes by next week. If you don’t have an exact number for how much you owe, then you might just have to make an educated guess and pay that. Best case scenario, you overpay and get some of it back. Worst case, you undershoot it, get penalized, and then have to pay the rest. No matter what, you should definitely pay something, because if you don’t pay anything, your penalty will be more severe.
Contacting a tax prepper service like H&R Block or TurboTax is still technically an option, but don’t be surprised if they can’t squeeze you in. Just like with a normal tax season, there are probably quite a few people trying to get their return in at the last minute, which means the preppers are going to be swamped. If that’s the only option you have, then you need to contact them now. Like, right now. As soon as you finish reading this sentence.
Everyone is in a different financial situation, especially due to the pandemic, but no matter what, you still need to get those taxes squared away. It ain’t fun, but it’s either that or get slapped with penalties and interest.