PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Don’t look now, but it’s almost tax time. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, tax day was moved from April 15 until May 17. That’s Monday.
“I get calls, random calls from clients, saying that they haven’t done anything,” Steven Fromm of Steven Fromm & Associates said. “And it’s just people’s management style.”
With just days to go before tax day, Fromm says the most basic thing you can do at this point is either file a return with what you have, or file for an extension.
“A lot of clients, it’s hard for them to stay organized,” Fromm said. “The tax code doesn’t help because it’s complicated.”
But there are some deductions put into the tax code for you to get the biggest return possible.
“Nobody wants to pay more taxes,” Camari Ellis of Philly Tax Team said. “Everybody feels they’re already overpaying in taxes.”
Ellis is the owner of the Philly Tax Team based in Bala Cynwyd. He says there are numerous changes this year compared to years’ past.
First up are the stimulus checks.
If you received any portion of one, two, or all three stimulus checks, Ellis says you don’t have to pay taxes on it, but that’s not true if you have or are still receiving unemployment benefits.
“People that made below $10,200 in unemployment, that part is going to be excused or forgiven,” Ellis said. “If you made over that, you have to pay taxes on that.”
Also, if you work from home, you may or may not be eligible for a write-off.
Ellis says, for example, if 10% of your home is solely used for your home office, you may be able to write off that portion of your rent, mortgage, utilities and repairs.
Many of the office workers who were sent home last March, can they also write off that 10%?
“Sadly, no,” Ellis said. “But I will say this. A lot of people through this pandemic have picked up a side hustle or a hobby that they’re able to monetize. If you’re doing that, maybe get a 1099, you now are a business owner.”
An extension is only for filing your return, so if you typically owe taxes, it’s suggested that you estimate what your tax bill would be. Fromm says if you don’t file at all, you could face a failure to file a penalty from the IRS.
If the IRS wants to find you, they will find you if you don’t file your taxes or pay them.
“People think if they stay silent, they don’t have a problem,” Fromm said.