And yes, I am still calculating… Automobile expenses, tortilla receipts, cell phone bills, cleaning supplies, toll receipts – you name it, I’m adding it up. Some of my business clients are scrambling to get their corporate tax returns filed before the March 15 deadline. Invariably, someone will bring me their bag of crap on the 14th, thinking that I can work a miracle and get their return done in time to e-file on the 15th. As much as I hate to file them, that’s what extensions are for. An extension is just license to procrastinate for another six months – I don’t recommend it. Consequently, I very rarely suggest it. And if a client brings the idea up, I give them twelve reasons why it’s never a good idea. Most look scared by the time I’m on reason number seven and agree to get their butts in gear and get their tax paperwork together. The IRS is nothing to be afraid of, but they are a force to be reckoned with. All they want is for taxpayers to file their returns and pay their fair share; if you over pay, they will send your money back to you, plus interest. If you owe them, you’d better pay up or set up a payment plan because they are not going away and ignoring them is not a viable option. Neither is changing your name – which is the ill-advised route someone suggested to one of my clients, who actually did it. Guess what – he still owes the IRS a pile of money. Better to just suck it up and pay your taxes in a little at a time throughout the year than owe a bigger sum, plus penalties and interest, at tax time. It’s amazing the number of relatively intelligent people who ignore that simple advice. But then again, if everyone knew how to do their own taxes, I’d be out of a job.
4 years ago