April 18 federal tax-filing deadline has come and gone.
Your taxes are paid, and maybe you already have your
refund in hand. Nothing to do now but sit back and chill
for eight months or so, right?
Internal Revenue Service respectfully disagrees.
recent changes in tax tables created by the Tax Cuts and
Jobs Act of 2017, IRS officials are urging taxpayers to
do a "paycheck checkup" and other
double-checks, the better to avoid a possibly unpleasant
surprise in early spring next year.
IRS is taking special steps to help taxpayers understand
these tax law changes," said Acting IRS
Commissioner David Kautter . "We encourage people
to do a paycheck checkup to help make sure they’re
having the right amount of tax withheld for their unique
personal situation. To help with this, the IRS has added
and updated a variety of tools and information to help
IRS says taxpayers should start by determining how much
money they want employers to withhold from their
can be done on the "Withholding Calculator"
link on www.irs.gov. Having too little tax withheld can
mean a surprisingly high tax bill next year. And with
the average refund topping $2,800, the IRS said some
taxpayers might prefer to have less tax withheld up
front and receive more in their paychecks.
can use the calculator to estimate their 2018 income
tax. It compares that estimate to the taxpayer’s
current tax withholding options. Some may wish to change
their withholding with their employer. The IRS notes
that it’s helpful to have a completed 2017 tax return
with you when you visit the website.
who need to adjust their withholding will need to submit
a new Form W-4, also known as an Employee’s
Withholding Allowance Certificate, to their employer. If
an employee needs to adjust withholding, doing so as
quickly as possible means there’s more time for tax
withholding to take place evenly over the rest of the
year. Waiting until later in the year means there are
fewer pay periods to make the tax changes, which could
have a bigger impact on each paycheck.
IRS said the paycheck checkup is highly recommended for
two-income families, people working two or more jobs,
parents who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit,
people who itemized deductions in 2017 and those who
received either large tax refunds or large tax bills in
IRS also has launched a series of "tax reform tax
tips" at www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-reform. The
periodic notices offer tax changes and other information
in plain language.
some, tax season goes on even now.
includes citizens who filed for an extension, others who
did not file or pay what is owed, or those awaiting
refunds. The IRS said it has help available for them,
no penalty for filing a late return after the tax
deadline if a refund is due. Penalties and interest only
accrue on unfiled returns if taxes were not paid by
April 18. IRS "Free File" is available through
Oct. 15 for incomes less than $66,000. To get more
information to file electronically, visit www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free.
a federal return is filed more than 60 days after the
April due date, the minimum penalty is either $210 or
100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. This
means that if the tax due is $210 or less, the penalty
is equal to the tax amount due. If the tax due is more
than $210, the penalty is at least $210.
some cases, taxpayers filing after the deadline may
qualify for penalty relief. If there is a good reason
for filing late, the IRS said taxpayers should attach an
explanation to their returns. The IRS also noted that
taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on
time often qualify for penalty relief. The agency said a
taxpayer will usually qualify for such relief if they
haven’t been assessed penalties for the past three
years and meet other requirements. For more information,
do a "first-time penalty abatement" search on
looking for your refund? Go to www.irs.gov/refunds,
where multiple options are explained to check on your
who owe taxes can get information on payments or
applying online for a payment plan at www.irs.gov/payments/view-your-tax-account.
IRS said it routinely corrects math errors on returns
and subsequently notifies taxpayers by mail. If a
taxpayer discovers a major error or omission, however,
the federal tax agency suggests consulting this site to
determine if an amended return is necessary: www.irs.gov/help/ita/should-i-file-an-amended-return.
the IRS stressed that it never makes initial,
unsolicited contact via email, text or social media on
filing, payment or refund issues. The IRS initiates most
contacts through regular mail . Any email that appears
to be from the IRS about a refund or tax problem is
likely a scam attempt. Don’t give out any key personal
information in an email. The IRS wants those suspicious
emails forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.