Client Question: Taxing Times

April 3, 2024

If there was ever a risk of me forgetting tax day, I have a feeling it would be mitigated by the numerous client questions I inevitably receive in the few weeks leading up to the important date! I thought I’d cover a few of them here as tax day approaches.

When do you think I’ll hear from my tax advisor?

Tax advisors work exceptionally hard all year round, but this time of year is particularly demanding. Rest assured, they are doing their very best to help their clients and meet everyone’s expectations. Their ability to complete your return by April 15th largely depends on you! Did you provide them with all of your information in an orderly fashion, or are items still missing? Did you get it to them in mid-February (or earlier) or did you send it last week? If you haven’t heard from your tax advisor by April 10th, gently reach out and see where things stand. Worst case, they will help you make an extension payment and will extend your return.

What if my return won’t be finished?

This is rather common – either because you are awaiting information from others (like K1s on private investments) or perhaps you ran into other delays in finishing your return. The IRS allows you to extend the filing of your return until October 15th. However, you are still required to pay any balance due (or your best estimate of this amount – see below) and make certain retirement contributions by April 15th. A form needs to be filed indicating your desire to extend.

What is an extension payment?

As noted above, your tax return filing can be extended but you must still pay the IRS what you owe by April 15th. This payment is called an extension payment. Tax advisors will help you estimate this amount and will typically add some cushion to avoid any underpayment penalties if actual > estimate once return is finalized. Further, if you make quarterly estimates, it’s also a best practice to include your Q1 estimate into your extension payment. This helps ensure the sufficiency of your extension payment (with any residual applied to the next year). Please note that if you are owed a refund, you will not receive that until the return is filed.

Do I need to make retirement contributions?

Regardless of if you extend or not, contributions to IRA accounts need to be made by April 15th. Certain other retirement account contributions (such as those to SEP IRAs and individual 401ks) can be made up until the date you file (including any extensions). Work closely with your tax and financial advisors to ensure you meet the necessary deadlines.

What else is due April 15th?

Tax day is a double-whammy for many people as final payments for 2023 tax returns are due – as are payments for the first quarter of 2024 (applies to self-employed individuals and others who don’t have sufficient withholdings during the year).

Hopefully these help answer a few of your tax questions as April 15th approaches!

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