CPAs urge taxpayers to be prepared for tax filing deadline

CPAs urge taxpayers to be prepared for tax filing deadline

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The deadline to file your taxes is April 15, and accountants say taxpayers need to get on it or file an extension.

Certified Public Accountant Willie Sims in Hattiesburg said this time of year is busy for his business, especially with the new tax code in place.

“It’s still a lot of confusion out there as to what’s deductible, what’s not deductible, the forms, and various other information,” said Sims.

Sims said despite the close deadline, there’s still a few things you can do to get the most out of your return.

“There’s not a lot of deductions out there now, but one that’s still out there is if you meet certain requirements, you can make a contribution to traditional IRA account,” said Sims.

The IRS says if you’re under 50, you can put $5,500 into the account. If you’re over 50, you can put in up to $6,500 for the 2018 tax year.

Sims said if taxpayers are unable to file by the deadline, they can file an extension, but they’ll still have to pay.

“It does not extend the amount or the due date for paying the amount that’s due,” said Sims. “So, if you’re projected to owe an amount, you need to pay that amount with that extension.”

The IRS says filing your taxes late can result in a minimum tax penalty of $205 or 100% of the tax you owe, whichever amount is less. The penalty for late payment can build up to as much as 25% of your unpaid taxes.

“You’re not going to get under the radar,” said Sims. “The IRS is going to find you at some point in time.”

Sims said he encourages taxpayers to sit down with a licensed professional when filing.

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