It's crunch time for tax filers, the extended deadline is Monday, May 17.
Local accountant, Alexa Heter, suggests taxpayers file online.
“Definitely e-file if you can. That’s what I would recommend, that way you get acceptance within hours usually,” she said.
This tax season is different because the American Rescue Plan put many changes in motion, including how unemployment benefits are taxed, as well as expanding child tax credits for 2021.
Employee retention credits were expanded and the PPP loan was extended until May 31, 2021.
Brianna Lara says filing was easy for her this year, but she did have a few new things to consider.
“Just because I was moving and because I started a new job, I had to do a little bit of unemployment compensation for us to switch over, you know, from full-time to a little bit of part-time,” she said.
Alice Williams hasn't filed her taxes yet but said, “This is the first time for a lot of things that’s going on the tax papers this year, so we have to be more cautious and more aware of what we put and what we write, you know, for it.”
Williams' husband, Ronald, was blunt about what people are facing. “Being that everyone’s been stuck at home and you know, so many other things we had to pa, groceries and things like that. Of course, mortgages are very high.”
During the pandemic, many people lost their jobs and applied for unemployment. Some switched jobs. Others even ended up moving, including out of state. All of these considerations can make filing even more complicated because they may have to include more streams of income or file a multi-state tax return.
The IRS does provide payment plans for people and businesses who may not be able to pay what they owe in full; however, there are strings attached.
Heter said, “Well it gives you more time to pay your taxes, but unfortunately there is interest and fees that are charged. So it just gives you flexibility if you don’t have the money to pay right now.”
She had good news as well, adding, “If you didn’t receive stimulus one or two, you can probably get that back with your tax return this year or apply it toward your tax liability which is great. And then once you filed, and you haven’t received stimulus three, then you should be getting that pretty quick.”
The IRS does allow people to apply for a filing extension until October 15. The form can be found on their website at IRS.gov.