Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Benefits of filing for a tax extension

The recent government stand-still in which Ohioans were constantly warned of the dreaded fiscal cliff resulted in changes that impacted some tax laws. As a result, the IRS only recently was able to complete several of the 2012 tax forms. Many of the changes in tax provisions especially impact small business owners and entrepreneurs.

As of March 7, roughly 60 million American taxpayers had yet to file their tax returns. This number is larger than normal and could potentially result in thousands failing to file tax returns in a timely manner. Many are blaming the government and stalled negotiations between democrats and republicans related to decisions on cuts to both taxes and federal programs.

Individuals who now find that they are scrambling to meet the April 15 deadline to file tax returns would be wise to enlist the assistance of a tax professional. The recent changes to 2012 tax laws and forms are leaving many taxpayers confused and could ultimately result in some failing to make mistakes that could result in an IRS audit or criminal tax charges.

Individuals who do not believe they will be able to make the April 15 deadline to file tax returns should file for an extension. Extensions are typically granted for six months. It's important to note, however, that an individual who is granted an extension of time to file their tax return must still pay an estimate of owned taxes. Individuals who file for a tax extension who fail to pay their taxes by April 15 will face additional fines.

In some cases, individuals may fail to file or pay taxes altogether. In such cases, it's wise to consult with a tax attorney. A legal tax professional can assist individuals facing criminal tax charges such as tax evasion or tax fraud. An attorney can also help individuals sort out tax matters related to tax debt, back taxes and late payments.

Source: Brookfield Patch, "Running Late on Filing Your 2013 Income Taxes? You're Not Alone," Sarah Worthman, March 27, 2013

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