Davis Tax Services, LLP

Tax planning, preparation & problem resolution

July 15 -- wait or file now?

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down so many businesses, the IRS postponed the filing and payment dates for returns and payments due April 15, 2020.

But should you wait the extra three months to file? Maybe not.

First, if you expect a refund, file now if you can and get it sooner.

Also, if you get a refund direct-deposited, IRS will use that bank info to direct deposit the Economic Stimulus Payment. Otherwise, a check will be mailed, but that may take a few months to arrive.

IRS will use direct deposit information from 2019 returns if they have been filed. If not, they will pull from your 2018 return. If you have changed banks since filing your 2018 return, you will want to file your 2019 return quickly so IRS has your current bank information.

What if you owe?

There's still a good reason to file earlier: beat scammers from filing a fraudulent return in your name and nabbing a refund -- and possibly your Economic Stimulus Payment.

Just because you file now doesn't mean you have to pay now. You will still have until July 15 to pay IRS and Arizona without penalty.

If you are considering contributing to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Self-Employed Retirement Plan (SEP), you have until July 15 to make your contribution. The contribution does not have to be made before you file. If you're going to get a refund, filing now will give you cash from the refund that you can use to fund your IRA.

Contributions to charities and schools for the Arizona "dollar-for-dollar" credits still have to be made by Apr. 15.

If you need more time beyond July 15 to pull together your personal tax return, an extension can be filed up to July 15. The extension will move the filing date to Oct. 15, but any balance due still needs to be paid by July 15.

Reminder: Quarterly estimated taxes due 6/15

If you make quarterly estimated tax payments, remember that the 3rd quarter payment is due June 15. For federal, mail to:

    Internal Revenue Service
    P.O. Box 51000
    San Francisco, CA 94151-5100

Instructions and voucher forms are available from the IRS website.

Foreign asset reports due June 30

Anyone who had a bank or financial account located outside the United States with a $10,000 balance last year needs to file an FBAR by June 30.

FBAR refers to Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, which must be filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). It is not a tax form and cannot be filed with the IRS. The form must be filed electronically. You must file this report yourself; we cannot file this report for you.

In general, the filing requirement applies to anyone who had an interest in, or signature or other authority over foreign financial accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during last year.

The FBAR requirement is separate from the requirement to report specified foreign financial assets on Form 8938 with a U.S. income tax return. A brief comparison of the two filing requirements is available on IRS.gov.

In the mailbox

Have you received a letter from the IRS or Arizona Department of Revenue? Don't be frightened by a still-sealed envelope ... and don't be confused by a complicated sounding notice. Scan and email or drop off a copy to us for review. Many IRS letters arrive during the summer, and we're available year-round to represent you in resolving tax problems.