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Get ready now to file 2020 federal income tax returns

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged taxpayers to take necessary actions this fall to help them file their federal tax returns timely and accurately in 2021, including special steps related to Economic Impact Payments.

This is the first in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. A special page, updated and available on IRS.gov, outlines steps taxpayers can take now to prepare for the 2021 tax return filing season ahead.

Steps taxpayers can take now to make tax filing easier in 2021

Taxpayers should gather Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, Forms 1099-Misc, Miscellaneous Income, and other income documents to help determine if they’re eligible for deductions or credits. They’ll also need their Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, to calculate any Recovery Rebate Credit they may be eligible for on their 2020 Federal income tax return.

Most income is taxable, including unemployment compensation, refund interest and income from the gig economy and virtual currencies.

Taxpayers with an Individual Tax Identification Number should ensure it hasn’t expired before they file their 2020 federal tax return. If it has, IRS recommends they submit a Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, now to renew their ITIN. Taxpayers who fail to renew an ITIN before filing a tax return next year could face a delayed refund and may be ineligible for certain tax credits.

Taxpayers can use the Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov to help determine the right amount of tax to have withheld from their paychecks. If they need to adjust their withholding for the rest of the year time is running out, they should submit a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, to their employer as soon as possible.

Taxpayers who received non-wage income like self-employment income, investment income, taxable Social Security benefits and in some instances, pension and annuity income, may have to make estimated tax payments. Payment options can be found at IRS.gov/payments.

New in 2021: Those who didn’t receive an EIP may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit

Taxpayers may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit if they met the eligibility criteria in 2020 and:

  • They didn’t receive an Economic Impact Payment this year, or
  • Their Economic Impact Payment was less than $1,200 ($2,400 if married filing jointly for 2019 or 2018) plus $500 for each qualifying child.
  • For additional information about the Economic Impact Payment, taxpayers can visit the Economic Impact Payment Information Center.

Received interest on a federal tax refund? Remember these are taxable; include when filing

Taxpayers who received a federal tax refund in 2020 may have been paid interest. The IRS sent interest payments to individual taxpayers who timely filed their 2019 federal income tax returns and received refunds. Most interest payments were received separately from tax refunds. Interest payments are taxable and must be reported on 2020 federal income tax returns. In January 2021, the IRS will send a Form 1099-INT, Interest Income, to anyone who received interest totaling at least $10.

Although the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a 2020 federal tax refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Some returns may require additional review and may take longer.

EITC/ACTC-related refunds should be available by first week of March

By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds for people claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund − even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC. The IRS expects most EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. Taxpayers should “Where’s My Refund?” for their personalized refund date.

With social distancing continuing, taxpayers can stay home and stay safe with IRS online tools

Taxpayers can find online tools and resources to help get the information they need. These IRS.gov tools are easy-to-use and available 24 hours a day. Millions of people use them to find information about their accounts, get answers to tax questions or file and pay their taxes.  

Almost everyone can file electronically for free.The IRS Free File program, available only through IRS.gov or the IRS2Go app, offers brand-name tax preparation software packages at no cost. The software does all the work of finding deductions, credits and exemptions for you. It‘s free for those who earned $72,000 or less in 2020. Some of the Free File packages also offer free state tax return preparation.

If you’re comfortable filling out  your own tax forms electronically, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, regardless of your income, to file your tax returns either by mail or online.

Taxpayers have several options to find a tax preparer. One resource is Choosing a Tax Professional, which offers a wealth of information for selecting a tax professional.

The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help taxpayers find preparers in their area who currently hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS, or who hold an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion.

Taxpayers can use the Interactive Tax Assistant beginning in January 2021 to get answers to a number of tax law questions. The ITA can help determine if a type of income is taxable, if someone is eligible to claim certain credits, or if they can deduct expenses on their tax return.

Taxpayers can check the status of their refund using “Where’s My Refund?”. The status is available within 24 hours after the IRS receives their e-filed tax return or up to four weeks if they after they mailed a paper return. The “Where’s My Refund?” tool updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so taxpayers only need to check once a day.

The best and fastest way for taxpayers to get their tax refund is to have it direct deposited into their financial account. Taxpayers who don’t have a financial account can visit the FDIC website for information to help open an account online.

Taxpayers are invited to join the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. VITA/TCE volunteers receive training to provide free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers. There’s never been a better time to get ready to help others file and the IRS is rolling out new ways to make volunteering easier. Visit IRS.gov/volunteers to learn more.

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State income tax refunds must be claimed within four years

LANSING, Mich. Michigan taxpayers who missed the July 15 state individual income tax filing deadline have options for filing a late return, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

“Taxpayers who missed last week’s individual income tax filing deadline have options,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “If you have an outstanding tax debt and cannot make full payment, we will work with you on payment options. Our goal is to help taxpayers limit interest charges and late payment penalties.”

Treasury recommends past-due tax filers to consider:

  • Filing a return to claim an outstanding refund. Taxpayers risk losing their state income tax refund if they don’t file a return within four years from the due date of the original return. Go to www.michigan.gov/mifastfile to learn more about e-filing.
  • Filing a return to avoid interest and penalties. File past due returns and pay now to limit interest charges and late payment penalties. Failure to pay could affect a taxpayer’s credit score and the ability to obtain loans.
  • Paying as much tax as possible. If taxpayers have to pay outstanding taxes but can’t pay in full, they should pay as much as they can when they file their tax returns. Payments can be made using Michigan’s e-Payments service. When mailing checks, carefully follow tax form instructions. Treasury will work with taxpayers who cannot pay the full amount of tax they owe.

Taxpayers who receive a final tax bill and are unable to pay the entire amount owed can consider:

  • Requesting a penalty waiver. Penalty may be waived on an assessment if a taxpayer can show reasonable cause for their failure to pay on time. Reasonable cause includes serious illness, a fire or natural disaster, or criminal acts against you. Documentation should be submitted to substantiate the reason for a penalty waiver request.
  • Making monthly payments through an installment agreement. For Installment Agreements lasting for 24 months or less, taxpayers must complete, sign and return the Installment Agreement (Form 990). The agreement requires a proposed payment amount that will be reviewed for approval by Treasury.
  • Filing an Offer in Compromise application. An Offer in Compromise is a request by a taxpayer for the Michigan Department of Treasury to compromise an assessed tax liability for less than the full amount. For more information or an application, visit www.michigan.gov/oic.

The last three options for final tax bills should be filed separately from the state income tax return.

To learn more about Michigan’s income tax, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax or call Treasury’s Income Tax Information Line at 517-636-4486. Taxpayer inquires can also be made online.

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All taxpayers should know the telltale signs of common tax scams

Every year scammers add new twists to well-known tax-related scams and 2020 is no exception.

Taxpayers should remember that the IRS generally first mails a bill to a taxpayer who owes taxes. There are special circumstances when the IRS will call or come to a home or business.

Here are some tips to help taxpayers spot scams and avoid becoming a victim.

Email phishing scams

  • The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.
  • For ways to avoid these scams read tips from the Department of Homeland Security.
  • For additional tips, check out Taxes. Security. Together.
  • Taxpayers should report IRS, Treasury or tax-related suspicious online or email phishing scams to phishing@irs.gov. They should not open any attachments, click on any links, reply to the sender or take any other actions that could put them at risk.

Phone scams

The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies will never:

  • Leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying, deported or revoke their licenses.
  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The agency doesn’t use these methods for tax payments.
  • Ask for checks to third parties. The agency has specific instructions on how to pay taxes.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.

Criminals can fake or spoof caller ID numbers to appear to be anywhere in the country. Scammers can even spoof an IRS office phone number or the numbers of various local, state, federal or tribal government agencies.
If a taxpayer receives an IRS or Treasury-related phone call, but doesn’t owe taxes and has no reason to think they do, they should:

  • Hang up immediately.
  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call.
  • Report the caller ID and callback number to the IRS by sending it to phishing@irs.gov. The subject line should include IRS Phone Scam.
  • Report the call to the Federal Trade Commission.

If a taxpayer owes tax or thinks they do, they should:

  • View tax account information online at IRS.gov to see the actual amount owed.
  • Review their payment options.
  • Call the number on any billing notice they receive or call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

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How to report nonemployee compensation and backup withholding

There is a new Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation for business taxpayers who pay or receive nonemployee compensation.

Starting in tax year 2020, payers must complete this form to report any payment of $600 or more to a payee.

Generally, payers must file Form 1099-NEC by January 31. For 2020 tax returns, the due date is February 1, 2021. There is no automatic 30-day extension to file Form 1099-NEC. However, an extension to file may be available under certain hardship conditions.

Nonemployee compensation may be subject to backup withholding if a payee has not provided a taxpayer identification number to the payer or the IRS notifies the payer that the TIN provided was incorrect.

A TIN can be one of the following numbers:

  • Social Security
  • Employer identification
  • Individual taxpayer identification
  • Adoption taxpayer identification

What is backup withholding?

Backup withholding can apply to most kinds of payments reported on Forms 1099 and W-2G. This means that the person or business paying the taxpayer doesn’t generally withhold taxes from certain payments. There are, however, situations when the payer is required to withhold a certain percentage of tax to make sure the IRS receives the tax due on this income. This is backup withholding.

The tax filing deadline has been postponed to Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The IRS is processing tax returns, issuing refunds and accepting payments. Taxpayers who mailed a tax return will experience a longer wait. There is no need to mail a second tax return or call the IRS.

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Here are reasons people should file a 2019 tax return

Economic Impact Payment, tax credits available for some

While many people are required to file a tax return, it’s a good idea for everyone to determine if they should file. Some people with low income are not required to file but will need to do so to get a tax refund.

The Interactive Tax Assistant Do I Need to File a Tax Return? will help determine if an individual is required to file a federal tax return or should file to receive a refund.

Here are five things to consider when determining whether to file a 2019 tax return, including possibly being eligible for an Economic Impact Payment.

Tax withheld or paid – Did the taxpayer’s employer withhold federal income tax from their pay in 2019? Did the taxpayer make estimated tax payments? Did they get a refund last year, and have it applied to 2019 tax? If a taxpayer answers yes to any of these questions, they may be owed a refund. To receive the refund, they must file a 2019 tax return.

Earned income tax credit – This is a tax credit for low- to moderate-income wage earners. It is a refundable tax credit, and the amount depends on the taxpayer’s income and number of children. The credit doesn’t just reduce the amount of tax owed but could also result in a refund. However, once again, to claim the EITC, a taxpayer must file a return. Taxpayers can use the EITC Assistant to determine if they qualify for this credit.

Child tax credit – Taxpayers can claim this credit if they have a qualifying child under the age of 17 and meet other qualifications. The maximum amount per qualifying child is $2,000. Up to $1,400 of that amount can be refundable for each qualifying child. So, like the EITC, the Child Tax Credit can give a taxpayer a refund even if they owe no tax.
The IRS Interactive Tax Assistant Is My Child a Qualifying Child for the Child Tax Credit? helps taxpayers determine if a child is a qualifying child.

Taxpayers with dependents who don’t qualify for the child tax credit may be able to claim the credit for other dependents. The maximum credit amount is $500 for each dependent who meets certain conditions. Find out more by reading Publication 972, Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents.

American opportunity or lifetime earning credits – Two credits can help taxpayers paying higher education costs for themselves, a spouse or dependent. Even if the taxpayer doesn’t owe any taxes, they may still qualify. They can complete Form 8863, Education Credits and file it with the tax return. The Interactive Tax Assistant – Am I Eligible to Claim an Education Credit? can help taxpayers figure out if are eligible for an education credit.

If taxpayers do not qualify for the either of these credits may benefit from the Tuition and Fees Deduction. For details about this deduction, see Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

Economic Impact Payment – Individuals who aren’t required to file a tax return may still be eligible for an Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 or $2,400 if they filed married filing jointly. People who meet the EIP eligibility requirements, have a filing requirement or can claim a refund should file a 2019 tax return. If they have not filed a 2019 and 2018 tax return, the IRS will use their information from the 2019 tax return to calculate their Economic Impact Payment. Those who don’t have to file should use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool by Oct. 15 to provide simple information so to get their payment.

The tax filing deadline has been postponed to Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The IRS is processing tax returns, issuing refunds and accepting payments. Taxpayers who mailed a tax return will experience a longer wait. There is no need to mail a second tax return or call the IRS.

Share this tip on social media — #IRSTaxTip: Here are reasons people should file a 2019 tax return; Economic Impact Payment, tax credits available for some. https://go.usa.gov/xwMS9

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IRS: July 15 tax payment deadline approaching

Plan on scheduling multiple payments now

WASHINGTON ― As the 2019 tax filing and payment deadline approaches, the IRS reminds taxpayers and businesses that 2019 income tax liabilities as well as postponed April 15 and June 15, 2020 estimated tax payments are due July 15, 2020.  This postponement provided temporary tax relief in response to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Taxpayers who owe a 2019 income tax liability, as well as estimated tax for 2020, must make two separate payments on or by July 15, 2020: One for their 2019 income tax liability and one for their 2020 estimated tax payments.  The two estimated tax payments can be combined into a single payment. 

A list of forms due July 15 is on the Coronavirus Tax Relief: Filing and Payment Deadlines page. Electronic payment options are the optimal way to make a tax payment.

Paying electronically:

Individuals – Taxpayers can use Direct Pay for two payments each day. Direct Pay allows taxpayers to pay online directly from a checking or savings account for free, and to schedule payments up to 365 days in advance. They will receive an email confirmation of their payments.

Taxpayers attempting to make at least three payments on the same day using Direct Pay will receive a warning of possible duplicate payment, and they will need to select override for those payments to continue.

Businesses – For businesses or those making large payments, the best payment option is the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, which allows up to five payments per day. Enrollment is required. Taxpayers can schedule payments up to 365 days in advance and opt in to receive email notifications about their payments. Visit IRS.gov/EFTPS for details. 

Paying by check, money order or cashier’s check:

2019 Tax Liability – If paying a 2019 income tax liability without an accompanying 2019 tax return, taxpayers paying by check, money order or cashier’s check should include Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher with the payment.

For those paying when filing their 2019 income tax return, do not staple or paperclip the payment to the return. For more information, go to Pay by Check or Money Order on IRS.gov.

2020 Estimated Tax Payments – Taxpayers making their 2020 estimated tax payment by check, money order or cashier’s check should include the appropriate Form 1040 ES payment voucher. Indicate on the check memo line that this is a 2020 estimated tax payment.

Additional electronic payment options:

Payment options are available at IRS.gov/payments:

Taxpayers can pay when they file electronically using tax software online. If using a tax preparer, ask the preparer to make the tax payment through an electronic funds withdrawal from a bank account.

Taxpayers can choose to pay with a credit card, debit card or digital wallet option through a payment processor. Processing fees apply. No part of the card service fee goes to the IRS.

The IRS2Go app provides mobile-friendly payment options, including Direct Pay and Payment Provider payments on mobile devices.

Individuals and businesses, preferring to pay in cash, can do so at a participating retail store. Go to IRS.gov/paywithcash for instructions.

For taxpayers paying separately from when they file their tax return, the more secure and quicker way to send a payment to the IRS is by going to IRS.gov/payments and choosing an electronic payment option to submit the payment. Taxpayers should continue to use electronic options to support social distancing and speed the processing of tax returns, refunds and payments.

Reviewing federal tax information online

Individual taxpayers can go to IRS.gov/account to securely access information about their federal tax account. They can view the amount they owe, access their tax records online, review their payment history and view key tax return information for the most recent tax return as originally filed.

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Keep Economic Impact Payment notice with other tax records

People who receive an Economic Impact Payment this year should keep Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, with their tax records. This notice provides information about the amount of their payment, how the payment was made and how to report any payment that wasn’t received.

For security reasons, the IRS mails this notice to each recipient’s last known address within 15 days after the payment goes out. It’s especially important for people to keep this notice if they think their payment amount is wrong. When they file their 2020 tax return, they can refer to Notice 1444 and claim additional credits, if they are eligible for them.

Taxpayers should keep this notice filed with all their other important tax records. These include, W-2s from employers,1099s from banks and other payers, other income documents and virtual currency transaction records.

All taxpayers should keep a copy of their past tax returns and supporting documents for at least three years. Key information from their prior year return may be required to file next year. Life changes like employment or marital status and financial gains or losses can affect a tax refund or the amount of taxes a person may owe.

The tax filing deadline has been postponed to Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The IRS is processing tax returns, issuing refunds and accepting payments. Taxpayers who mailed a tax return will experience a longer wait. There is no need to mail a second tax return or call the IRS.

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IRS reminder: File now, choose direct deposit or schedule tax payments electronically before the July 15 deadline

WASHINGTON — As the July 15 tax-filing deadline − postponed from April 15 − draws near, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding all taxpayers who have yet to file their 2019 federal tax return to file electronically now, choose direct deposit for their refund, or pay any tax owed electronically.

Taxpayers who owe for tax year 2019 or need to pay 2020 estimated taxes originally due for the first quarter on April 15 or the second quarter on June 15 can schedule an electronic payment up to the July 15 due date.

The IRS continues to process electronic tax returns, issue direct deposit refunds and accept electronic payments. As of May 29, the IRS received over 133.8 million tax returns and issued over $250.9 billion in refunds.

Taxpayers should use electronic options to support social distancing and speed the processing of tax returns, refunds and payments. IRS.gov has a variety of options to help taxpayers.

Most taxpayers that usually have a filing or payment deadline falling on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020 − including individuals, trusts, estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers − qualify for the postponed due date. This means that anyone, including Americans who live and work abroad, now have until July 15 to file their 2019 federal income tax return and pay any tax due. A list of forms due July 15 is on the Coronavirus Tax Relief: Filing and Payment Deadlines page.

File electronically for free

Taxpayers whose income was $69,000 or less last year are eligible to use IRS Free File software. There are also Free File Fillable Forms, an electronic version of IRS paper forms. It has no income limitations. Free File options are available at IRS.gov/freefile.

2016 file for unclaimed refunds – deadline postponed to July 15

For 2016 tax returns, the normal April 15 deadline to claim a refund is now July 15, 2020. The law provides a three-year window of opportunity to claim a refund. If taxpayers do not file a return within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return postmark is July 15, 2020, or sooner.

Choose direct deposit for refunds

The safest and fastest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to have it electronically deposited into their bank or other financial account. Taxpayers can use direct deposit to deposit their refund into one, two or even three accounts. Direct deposit is much faster than waiting for a paper check to arrive in the mail.

After filing, use “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov or download the IRS2Go Mobile App to track the status of a refund.

Schedule a payment electronically

Taxpayers can file now and schedule their federal tax payments up to the July 15 due date. They can pay online, by phone or with their mobile device and the IRS2Go app. When paying federal taxes electronically taxpayers should remember:

Electronic payment options are the optimal way to make a tax payment.

They can pay when they file electronically using tax software online. If using a tax preparer, taxpayers should ask the preparer to make the tax payment through an electronic funds withdrawal from a bank account.

IRS Direct Pay allows taxpayers to pay online directly from a checking or savings account for free, and to schedule payments up to 365 days in advance.

Taxpayers can choose to pay with a credit card, debit card or digital wallet option through a payment processor. No fees go to the IRS.

The IRS2Go app provides the mobile-friendly payment options, including Direct Pay and Payment Provider payments on mobile devices.

Taxpayers may also enroll in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System and have a choice of paying online or by phone by using the EFTPS Voice Response System.

Taxpayers can go to IRS.gov/account to securely access information about their federal tax account. They can view the amount they owe, access their tax records online, review their payment history and view key tax return information for the most recent tax return as originally filed.

Request an extension of time to file a tax return electronically

Taxpayers who need more time to prepare their federal tax return should be aware that:

An extension of time to file a return does not grant any extension of time to pay taxes.

Taxpayers should estimate and pay any owed taxes by the July 15 deadline to help avoid possible penalties.

Taxpayers must file their extension request no later than the July 15 postponed due date of their return.

Individual tax filers, regardless of income, can use IRS Free File to electronically request an automatic tax-filing extension. Filing this form gives the taxpayer until Oct. 15 to file a federal tax return. To get the extension, the taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on the extension form and should pay any amount due.

Alternatively, taxpayers can get an extension by paying all or part of their estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or a credit or debit card. This way the taxpayer won’t have to file a separate extension form and will receive a confirmation number for their records.

Get answers to tax questions

Taxpayers may find answers to many of their questions using the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA), a tax law resource that works using a series of questions and responses. IRS.gov has answers for Frequently Asked Questions. The IRS website has tax information in: Spanish (Español); Chinese (齌湞); Korean (); Russian (Pусский); Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt); and Haitian Creole (Kreyòl ayisyen).

For more information go to IRS.gov/COVIDtaxdeadlines.

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IRS reminder: Deadline postponed to July 15 for those who pay estimated taxes

WASHINGTON—The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that estimated tax payments for tax year 2020, originally due April 15 and June 15, are now due July 15. This means that any individual or corporation that has a quarterly estimated tax payment due has until July 15 to make that payment without penalty.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special tax filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses. This relief applies to federal income tax returns and tax payments (including tax on self-employment income) otherwise due April 15, 2020. This relief does not apply to state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax.

Who needs to pay quarterly?

Most often, self-employed people, including many involved in the sharing economy, need to pay quarterly installments of estimated tax. Similarly, investors, retirees and others often need to make these payments. That’s because a substantial portion of their income is not subject to withholding. Other income generally not subject to withholding includes interest, dividends, capital gains, alimony and rental income.

Special rules apply to some groups of taxpayers, such as farmers, fishermen, casualty and disaster victims, those who recently became disabled, recent retirees and those who receive income unevenly during the year.

Taxpayers can avoid an underpayment penalty by owing less than $1,000 at tax time or by paying most of their taxes during the year. Generally, for 2020 that means making payments of at least 90% of the tax expected on their 2020 return.

Taxes are pay-as-you-go

This means taxpayers need to pay most of their taxes owed during the year as income is received. There are two ways to do that:

  • Withholding from pay, pension or certain government payments such as Social Security; and/or 
  • Making quarterly estimated tax payments during the year. 

Tax Withholding Estimator

If a taxpayer receives salaries and wages, they can avoid having to pay estimated tax by asking their employer to withhold more tax from their earnings. To do this, they would file a new Form W-4 [ https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-w-4 ].

If a taxpayer receives a paycheck, the new and improved Tax Withholding Estimator [ https://www.irs.gov/payments/tax-withholding ] can help them make sure they have the right amount of tax withheld from their pay. The tool is now more mobile friendly and replaces the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov. The Tax Withholding Estimator offers workers, as well as retirees, self-employed individuals and other taxpayers a clear, step-by-step method for effectively checking their withholding to protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year.

How to pay estimated taxes

Form 1040-ES [ https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-1040-es ], Estimated Tax for Individuals, includes instructions to help taxpayers figure their estimated taxes. They can also visit IRS.gov/payments to pay electronically. IRS offers two free electronic payment options where taxpayers can schedule their estimated federal tax payments up to 30 days in advance with Direct Pay [ https://www.irs.gov/payments/direct-pay ] or up to 365 days in advance with the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System [ https://www.irs.gov/payments/eftps-the-electronic-federal-tax-payment-system ] (EFTPS).

IRS.gov assistance 24/7

Tax help is available 24/7 on IRS.gov. The IRS website offers a variety of online tools to help taxpayers answer common tax questions. For example, taxpayers can search the Interactive Tax Assistant [ https://www.irs.gov/help/ita ], Tax Topics [ https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics ], Frequently Asked Questions [ https://www.irs.gov/faqs ], and Tax Trails [ https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-trails-main-menu ] to get answers to common questions.

More COVID-19 information

The IRS will post frequently asked questions on IRS.gov/coronavirus [ https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments ] and will provide updates as soon as they are available.

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Installment payment option available for business taxpayers deferring sales, use and withholding tax

Penalties and interest will be waived on installment balance

LANSING, Mich. Business taxpayers who have deferred paying their Sales, Use and Withholding (SUW) taxes due to the COVID-19 pandemic can now participate in an installment payment option to satisfy their outstanding tax balance, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

In a special notice issued on May 26, 2020, the state Treasury Department is now allowing business taxpayers scheduled to make SUW tax payments for the February, March, April and May tax periods on June 20, 2020, including quarterly filers, to either pay their outstanding balance in its entirety or pay their outstanding balance in monthly payments over the next six months. Penalties and interest will be waived on those deferred payments.

“Michigan businesses are looking for ways to continue operating during and after this crisis and we know that many have taken advantage of tax payment extensions,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “Providing an installment payment option enables businesses to spread out their obligations over the next six months without incurring additional cost. Taxpayers are encouraged to pay their entire balance if able to do so.”

To take advantage of the installment payment option, monthly filers should submit their outstanding returns for February, March, April and May tax periods by June 20, 2020, to establish their installment balance. Taxpayers can then make six monthly payments on that balance from June to November.

Quarterly filers should submit their outstanding first quarter return by June 20, 2020, to establish their installment balance. Taxpayers can then make three payments on that balance in June, September and November.

For the SUW tax deadline in July and deadlines through the remainder of the year, businesses must file their monthly or quarterly returns and submit their payments as normally scheduled.

To ensure accurate reporting of the payments, each installment payment must be submitted separately from any tax payment otherwise due in that tax period. Taxpayers must follow the payment instructions as outlined in the state Treasury Department’s notice.

Businesses do not need to contact or submit any documentation to the state Treasury Department to participate in the installment plan.

Businesses with questions should inquire through self-service options using Michigan Treasury Online or go to  www.michigan.gov/askSUW.

To learn more about Michigan’s taxes, go to www.michigan.gov/taxes or follow the state Treasury Department on Twitter at @MITreasury.

Posted in Tax TimeComments Off on Installment payment option available for business taxpayers deferring sales, use and withholding tax

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