Tax Day is July 15, have you filed? What to do if you can’t pay due to COVID-19

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – This time of year, many people are planning their summer vacation and not preparing their taxes. But due to the pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service and many states, including Georgia and South Carolina, moved back “Tax Day” to July 15.

So, if you have not yet prepared your tax returns, you have just about one week left to do so.

The IRS says it has many online tools to help you including a list of tax preparers that offer software you can utilize for free.

You can request an extension to Oct. 15. However, if you owe tax and you don’t pay by July 15, you may face penalties and interest associated with the tax bill.

The July 15 deadline applies to individual income taxes as well as 1st and 2nd quarter estimated taxes as well as corporate income taxes, franchise and license fees.

Taxpayers are urged to file electronically as that can often be the fastest way to process your return if you are owed a refund.

If you owe the IRS, there are a number of ways to pay online and even a mobile app for your phone.

IRS officials also told us via email that for “people facing hardships, including those affected by COVID-19, who cannot pay in full, the IRS has several options available to help. To avoid interest and penalties, the IRS encourages them to pay what they can by the deadline (July 15) and consider a variety of payment options available for the remaining balance.”

The IRS says those options include:

  • Online Payment Agreement – available for those who owe $50,000 or less in combined income tax, penalties and interest and businesses that owe $25,000 or less in combined payroll tax, penalties and interest and have filed all tax returns. Most taxpayers qualify for this option, and an Online Payment Agreement can usually be set up in a matter of minutes on IRS.gov/opa.
  • Installment Agreement — Taxpayers who do not qualify to use the online payment agreement option, or choose not to use it, can also apply for a payment plan by phone, or by mail by submitting Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. Installment agreements paid by direct deposit from a bank account or a payroll deduction will help taxpayers avoid default on their agreements. It also reduces the burden of mailing payments and saves postage costs. Certain fees may apply.
  • Temporarily Delaying Collection – You can contact the IRS to request a temporary delay of the collection process. If the IRS determines a taxpayer is unable to pay, it may delay collection until the taxpayer’s financial condition improves. Penalties and interest continue to accrue until the full amount is paid.
  • Offer in Compromise – Certain taxpayers qualify to settle their tax bill for less than the amount they owe by submitting an offer in compromise. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool.

Be sure to check with the Georgia Revenue Department and the South Carolina Department of Revenue for questions about preparing your return or about the status of your refund.

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