Friday, October 21, 2011


This past Monday was the deadline for filing extended Form 1040s (and 1040As) – unless you live in a state that was affected by Hurricane Irene.  Individuals (and businesses) in these states have until October 31st to get their GD extension in the mail (see my post “It Ain’t Necessarily So”). 

But if you do not live in a state that was a victim of Irene and did not get your extended 2010 Form 1040 (or 1040A) in the mail on Monday do not panic.  You should complete your return as soon as possible and get it in the mail to Uncle Sam.

If you are due a refund there is no penalty.  You will only be penalized if you owe your “uncle”.

If you do owe your “uncle” you have missed the statutory deadline and are now “filing late” as well as “paying late”.  The penalty for late filing is 5% of the balance due per month until it is paid in full – which is 10x the penalty for merely paying late.  So the longer you wait the more you will be penalized.

Don’t decide not to file because you are now late.  The IRS will eventually “reconstruct” your return in the worst possible way (i.e. married filing separately instead of joint filing or Single instead of Head of Household with no dependents and Standard Deduction instead of itemizing) based on the income information it has in its system from W-2s and 1099s, assess penalties and interest, and send you a bill.

So if you still have not completed and mailed in your 2010 income tax return – git ‘er done!


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