The statute of limitations on tax misdeeds varies, depending upon the type of lapse. The rules differ for civil, criminal and fraudulent actions.
This post is by Laura Saunders of The Wall Street Journal.
Maybe you paid a baby sitter under the table, or "forgot" to declare income, or deducted personal expenses as business costs. Perhaps you didn't know a large tax or a form was due and found out only later. Maybe you never filed at all.
Whatever the misdeed, it raises an urgent question: When can you breathe easy? When is your offense so old and cold that the Internal Revenue Service won't care -- or can't?
If you made a mistake, you can wait for the IRS to track you down. But it's better to file an amended return as soon as possible.
This post is by Robert W. Wood of Forbes.com.
1. Amended returns aren’t mandatory. You might be surprised to find you are not obligated to file an amended return, even though tax advisers may tell you it’s a good idea. That’s because the IRS will probably send you a bill based on the revised Form 1099 or K-1 once IRS computers match that form against your return.
Amended returns are not mandatory even if something happens after you file that makes it clear your original return contains mistakes. Ask if the return you filed was accurate to your best knowledge when you filed it. If it was, you are probably safe in not filing an amendment.
The IRS will still accept your return, but you may have to pay penalties for filing late and for paying taxes late.
Tax Day has come and gone, and we hope you filed your tax return, or at least requested an extension.
If you didn't get around to filing, the federal government is not going to haul you away in chains.
However, the Internal Revenue Service would still like to see your return, and the sooner the better. There is a penalty for failing to file a return, but the closer you are to the deadline, the smaller that penalty will be.
If you're due a refund, there is no penalty for filing late, but if you don't file within three years, you lose your refund.
The IRS offers a number of options, from accepting credit cards to setting up payment plans. The key is to make arrangements, not just ignore your tax bill.
This post is by Kay Bell of Bankrate.com.
First, even if you can't pay your tax bill, go ahead and file your return on time. This way, you'll avoid the IRS' failure-to-file penalty of 5% per month (up to a maximum of 25%) of your balance due. You'll still face that penalty each month your bill is outstanding, but it's only 0.5% of the amount you owe.
If writing that big check to the US Treasury leaves a sour taste in your mouth, you might want to take advantage of one of the free sweet (and other) treats offered April 17.
This post is by Laura Daily and Patti Roth at Living on the Cheap.
Now we can get all kinds of deals and free treats for Tax Day. To help you keep track, we’ve put together a list of Tax Day promotions.
Most are available April 17, but a few are good all week.
Expect to hear a lot of political rhetoric this election year. But how many taxpayers and businesses would really be affected by the proposed tax increase?
This post is by Alan Fram of The Associated Press.
President Barack Obama's proposal to impose a "Buffett rule" tax on the rich is generating enormous political wattage, but the plan itself would directly affect only a tiny fraction of Americans.
Only around 210,000 taxpayers -- a bit over 1 of every 1,000 -- would face higher federal taxes if the measure were enacted, according to an estimate by one respected bipartisan research group.
In addition, while Republicans say the plan would be a job killer, only a small proportion of businesses would potentially be subject to the tax, according to data from a 2011 Treasury Department study. These firms make disproportionately large amounts of money, but many of them don't employ any workers.
Republicans, calling the Buffett rule a political sideshow designed to distract voters from the economy's problems, seem certain to round up enough votes to block the bill when the Democratic-run Senate votes on it Monday. But Democrats are eager to hold repeated votes on it this election year to demonstrate that they favor economic equality while Republicans prefer coddling the wealthy, so it's unlikely to disappear soon.
You get an extra 2 days to do your taxes this year, but you may not have the option of the late-night run to the post office.
Are you in a panic that you won't have your taxes done by midnight Sunday, April 15?
Take a deep breath, and let go of your worries.
You should still be working on your taxes, but you have two more days.
Though tax deadline traditionally falls on April 15, taxpayers have two more days to do their taxes this year. That's because April 15 falls on a Sunday and April 16 is Emancipation Day, which is a holiday in the District of Columbia.
That means you have until midnight Tuesday, April 17, to file your tax return. Most states have the same deadline.
Most state tax returns are due April 17, but a few states have later deadlines. States collected 9.8% more in individual income taxes last year and 9.4% more in corporate income taxes.
This post is by Kay Bell at Bankrate.com.
But it's also the deadline for most taxpayers who owe taxes to their state tax collectors. Of the 43 states that impose some sort of income tax -- usually on wages, but New Hampshire and Tennessee exempt wage income and instead tax some portion of investment earnings -- 38 states and the District of Columbia follow the federal tax due date.
That means filers in those states must get their state (and in some cases, local) tax returns completed by April 17, too.
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