As of this writing, the federal government is STILL in its partial shutdown.
And 800,000+ people are affected — including a whole slew of IRS workers who have been called in, regardless of paychecks, because come Trump or high water: tax filing will indeed begin on January 28th, 2019.
So, we’re still buckling up around here, and meeting with Greater Columbus Ohio clients to get things lined up with as many legal, ethical deductions as possible so that YOU pay only what you should … and not a penny more.
And at least some of those IRS employees were responsible for the (very welcomed) announcement that the IRS will, in most cases, waive the tax underpayment penalty for any taxpayer who paid at least 85 percent of their total 2018 tax liability during the tax year. The normal threshold is 90%, so this might be a relief to some.
And it means that all of the ballyhoo (which we joined) that warned people to make sure their withholding was set up properly gets a little less loud.
But all of that said, it is still extremely wise to get your tax paperwork together as soon as humanly possible, well … because of four big reasons.
Three Reasons Why Greater Columbus Ohio Taxpayers Should File Taxes Early
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln
If you ever procrastinated in high school or college (is that even a question?), then you know the ramifications: sloppy work, late penalties and reduced grades/knowledge.
Why was it always “easier” to wait until the night before on certain projects, when you had so many days before to work and prepare?
In an age of distraction, it’s natural to occupy your time with meaningless tasks and time-wasting activities … and today we want to look at why you should make time to file taxes early this year.
Quicker refund? I.R.Yes.
As I mentioned above, tax filing officially begins on Monday, January 28th. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t start our prep work even before that date.
In fact, it might be obvious, but you WILL receive your tax refund (if you qualify for one) faster, the earlier you decide to file. So although the deadline to file your taxes is April 15, 2019, start making plans now to send in your paperwork.
And as always, we will guide you through the tax filing process — we are on top of every detail that will get you your refund as soon as possible.
Avoid unnecessary penalties
We love helping Greater Columbus Ohio people like you take care of business, so that you don’t receive penalties or unwanted interest rates for missing a deadline.
Unfortunately, those who file their taxes after the deadline receive penalties simply for being lazy and disorganized more than anything.
If you typically wait until April to act, and have gotten away with cutting it close until now, let us help you get into the habit of filing early so you can rest easy come springtime.
Let us be your laziness remedy.
The biggest reason: Avoid the risk of fraud
Your information online is at an ever-increasing risk of theft (a great reason to regularly change your passwords and make them at least somewhat intricate … come on, people). And if someone somehow gets ahold of your Social Security number, they wouldn’t be far from acquiring all the info necessary to file a tax return under your name illegally.
The sooner YOUR returns are filed means the less risk for someone to hack your information, and take YOUR money. Identity theft is the last thing we want to see happen to you, but if it does happen please contact us immediately and we will walk you through the next steps.
This is a time of year that it’s worth checking your credit report for any fraudulent activity from any of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
And as I always tell you: Do NOT respond to any emails or text messages from anyone who says they’re with the IRS, as the organization typically makes first contact with individuals through phone or traditional mailed correspondence. No IRS representative will ask for immediate payment via phone call. Let us handle your correspondence with the IRS on your behalf.
So in the spirit of the new year and making changes to better your future, let us help you set a new yearly trend: turning in your homework early so you don’t get bad grades.
If you have any questions please feel free to shoot me back an email through the email us button at the top of the page.
Chuck Franklin CPA, LLC