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7/30/2015

Straight From The IRS: Extension of Time




Your request for a tax extension has to be filed by the original due date of your tax return, and an extension does not extend your time to pay. You know this already; it’s nothing new. According to the IRS, there are three ways in which you can request an automatic extension for your personal income tax return.

You can file your tax extension in any one of the three following ways:
  1. You can pay all or part of your estimated income tax, and indicate that the payment is for an extension using the IRS’ Direct Pay.
  2. You can e-file a Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Tax Return, using your personal computer, through a tax professional, or… *trumpet fanfare* ExpressExtension!!!
  3. You can file a paper version of Form 4868, and enclose a payment of your tax due.
Straight from the IRS: If you’re a fiscal year taxpayer, you are required to file a paper Form 4868.

When you e-file your form, be sure to have a copy of your return from last year; you’ll be asked to submit your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for verification purposes. Once you complete your e-file, the IRS will send an electronic agreement of accepting your filing. You should keep that agreement for your records.

There are special conditions for certain U.S. citizens and resident foreigners in which you’re allowed two extra months, roughly until June 15, to file your tax return and pay any taxes due without an extension. These conditions are if you’re…

  1. Living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico, and your main place of business or post of duty is outside of the United States and Puerto Rico, or
  2. In military or naval service on duty outside of the United States and Puerto Rico.
For more information about these special conditions, check out the following blogs:
The IRS also gives additional information with its Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. To use this automatic, 2-month extension, you have to attach a statement to your return stating which situation qualifies you for the extension.

Straight from the IRS: You will still have to pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return.

You can receive an additional four months by filing a Form 4868 and checking the box on “Line 8” that indicates the additional extension. This also does not extend the time you have to pay your estimated taxes.

Get more time to file your tax return by quickly and easily e-filing your Personal Tax Extension Form 4868 with ExpressExtension. For even more convenience, download our FREE Express 4868 App for iOS and Android devices. And, for further assistance with e-filing, contact our live, expert professionals by phone at (803) 514-5155 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 6pm EST), email at support@expressextension.com, or live chat at www.expressextension.com.



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7/28/2015

6 Tips to Pay Your Tax Bill This Summer




Summer has been in full swing for a while now, and it’s really going full speed ahead. Can you believe that there are only eight weeks of summer left? That’s just two really short months. If you filed any of the following extensions during your tax season, then you have these upcoming deadlines:
Of course, by filing these extensions, you still have to pay your estimated taxes. Remember, tax extensions only extend the time you need to file a return - not time needed to pay your taxes. Summer is a great season and everything, but don’t get too sidetracked with “fun in the sun” and forget about paying your taxes. With only a couple months left in the season, here are six tips to pay your tax bill this summer, brought to you by the IRS.

1. Reply Promptly - It’s typical for the IRS to send out a bunch of notifications after tax season. Be sure that you carefully read it and follow the instructions. If you owe, the notice will say so along with your due date. To avoid additional fees and penalties, you should promptly respond to the notice and pay your bill.

2. Pay Online - The IRS has a variety of electronic payment methods that allow you pay your taxes quickly, accurately, and safely. You also get a record of your payment. These options include
Direct Pay and EFTPS are free services; however, if you pay by credit or debit card, you’ll be charged a fee from the payment processing company.

3. Apply Online to Make Payments - You can apply for an installment agreement if you’re struggling to pay your tax in full. Simply fill out the Online Payment Agreement Application, or you can apply in writing by filing a Form 9465. Both are available at IRS.gov to download or print.

4. Use a Direct Debit Plan - A low-cost, hassle-free way to pay is with a direct debit installment plan. Your direct debit set-up fee will be $52, which is less than half of the $120 fee for other payment plans. With the direct debit plan, you can automatically pay from your bank account on a day that you can set up each month.

You’ll no longer have to write a check or use “snail-mail” to send a payment. You’ll also won’t have to deal with reminder notices or, most importantly, any missed payments. For more information, check out Payment Plans, Installment Agreements.

5. Pay By Check or Money Order - You can make your check or money order payable to the U.S. Treasury. Be sure you include your:
  • Name, Address, and Daytime Phone Number
  • Social Security Number or Employer ID Number for Business Taxes
  • Tax Period and Related Tax Form (eg. “2014 Form 1040”)
Mail your payment to the address that’s listed on your notice, and don’t send any cash in the mail.

6. Consider an Offer in Compromise - With an Offer in Compromise (OIC), you may be able to pay your tax debt for less than you actually owe. OIC options are available if you can’t pay your tax in full, or if full payment creates a financial hardship for you. Everyone won’t qualify, so be sure you check out the other forms of payment before attempting an OIC.

To see if you’re eligible, you can use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool provided by the IRS.
The Autumn season will quickly be upon us. Why not welcome it by having a good deal of your taxes paid off?

If you’re operating on a fiscal tax year, and still need to file an extension, e-file today with ExpressExtension. As an authorized IRS e-file provider, ExpressExtension supports a safe, secure, and accurate e-filing process with the most experienced technical and help teams in the industry.
And you can also pay your estimated tax at the same time you e-file your tax extension with ExpressExtension; payment is accepted online by Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) using your checking or savings account information.

Live professionals are available at our Rock Hill, South Carolina office. Feel free to contact our expert help at (803) 514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm EST. You can also either e-mail us at support@expressextensions.com or chat with us at www.expressextensions.com for any further assistance e-filing your extension forms.


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7/23/2015

Tax Preparations




Congratulations! You were able to get your extension filed on time, and you now have a few more months to get what you need to file. But what exactly do you need to “get together?” And if you weren’t able to get what you needed the first time, how will the second time be any different? No worries though.

If you feel as if you’re way in over your head with your taxes, the best thing to do is seek the assistance of a tax professional. These are a variety of professions like Enrolled Agents, Certified Public Accountants, Financial Planners, and Tax Preparers.
While paid preparers are well and good, filing taxes won’t be as easy as waving a magic wand. So, if you just dump a huge pile of tax information on a tax professional’s desk, YOU should be prepared for a long day, and probably an even longer bill. Be well prepared; it will work better for you and the accountant. Here are a few tips that’ll get you ready.

Keep Accurate Records
You must keep accurate records, whether you file on your own or not. Things that you should be keeping record of are receipts, invoices, and bank statements. You being organized is key here; the more you are, the better things will go. It works better to keep up with these things throughout the year rather than sorting through everything at the very end.

Track Payments to Contractors
Did you know that the 2 percent Social Security reduction is now eliminated making the current Social Security rate 6.2 percent? If you didn’t, then your second objective is to become aware of the current tax rates. Ask your tax professional for further details.

Know Your Tax Deduction Qualifications
There are so many tax deductions, especially for small business owners, that you can take advantage of. If you’re not aware of them, you are missing out on maxing out your deductions. It’s highly recommended that you consult a tax professional in order to take advantage of everything available to you.

For more information about tax deductions, check out the following blog:
Maximizing Your Deductions

Hire a Professional
As mentioned earlier, when in doubt, seek your local tax professional in regard to your taxes. They can accurately advise you can and cannot do, which can save you time and money - not to mention constant refiling.

File a Tax Extension
Of course, the best advice during any tax season. If you are not properly prepared by the tax filing deadline, file a tax extension, which will allow you an additional three to six months to file your tax return.

Important Note: An extension doesn’t extend the time to pay your taxes. The IRS still expects full tax payment of any taxes due. Failure to pay the taxes by the due date may lead to penalties or fees.

You can easily and securely receive more time to file your return by e-filing an extension with ExpressExtension. We offer extension forms for business tax, personal tax, and tax-exempt organizations. Download our FREE app to e-file your personal or business tax extension from any iOS or Android tablet. Or visit the mobile site to e-file your exempt organization extension from any smartphone mobile device.

For more assistance in e-filing a tax extension, contact our live professionals from our Rock Hill, South Carolina office. We’re available by phone Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm EST at (803) 514-5155. You can also get in touch with email at support@expressextension.com or live chat at www.expressextension.com.



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7/21/2015

Electronic Postmark


Throughout a number of these blogs, there are valuable bits and pieces of information that are meant to give you a bit more understanding about e-filing and associations with taxes. Along with these candid explanations, you’ve probably encountered a few keywords and have asked, “What is this and what does it have to do with filing my taxes?”

Some of these keywords have a direct correlation to filing your taxes like “perfection period,” which is the 10-day time period you have to correct a rejected form, or “electronic federal tax payment system,” which is a method of paying any taxes you owe to the IRS.

It’s kind of like reading aloud back in grade school and coming across an unfamiliar word so the teacher has you look up the definition. Another one of these tossed around keywords with a link to filing taxes is “electronic postmark.”


“What’s an Electronic Postmark?”
Basically, whenever you e-file an IRS tax form online, there is a mark that bears the date and the time that your return was filed based on your time zone. Depending on where you are located, you may have to change the electronic postmark to the time zone where you actually live. In such a case, changing it would determine your postmark's actual time.

Check out the video below:



“What does all that mean for me?”
Well, it relates directly to the deadline of your tax return. As we are well aware, IRS deadlines are a major factor, especially when trying to avoid penalties and fees. According to the IRS,
  • If the electronic postmark is on or before the prescribed deadline for filing, but the IRS receives your return after the prescribed deadline for filing, the IRS treats your return as timely filed.
  • If the electronic postmark is after the prescribed deadline for filing, which would be the IRS actual receipt date - not the date of the electronic postmark, the prescribed deadline is the filing date.
  • If the IRS rejects your return, you must file a corrected return in accordance with the rules for timely filing corrected returns after rejection of an electronic return.
Let’s say that you e-file a tax extension with ExpressExtension; the electronic postmark that’s generated would be in Eastern Standard Time. If you e-filed from another time zone, the actual postmark would be when you e-filed your return based from your time zone.

Example:
E-filed with ExpressExtension - Thurs. July 16, 2015 11:52AM EST (Electronic Postmark)

E-filed from California - Thurs. July 16, 2015 8:52AM PST (Actual Postmark)

Keep in mind that if you are e-filing from another time zone, your return is still considered timely if it is filed by midnight, your local time, on the deadline date.

Make sure you have enough time to file your tax return in a timely manner by e-filing a tax extension with ExpressExtension. We offer extensions for personal, business, and tax-exempt returns. You can also e-file from any location by downloading our FREE app for iOS and Android tablet devices, or visit our mobile site to e-file using any mobile browser.

Expert assistance is available at our Rock Hill, South Carolina office. Feel free to contact our live professionals at (803) 514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm EST. You can also either e-mail us at support@expressextensions.com or chat with us at www.expressextensions.com for any further assistance e-filing your extension forms.



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7/16/2015

Tax Extension for Limited Liability Companies (LLC)




Stumped on starting a business? Have you considered forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

Limited Liability Companies are becoming one of the most popular forms of business in the United States because of the flexibility and “Pass Through” status that are associated with LLCs; another word for this advantage is called Pass-Through Taxation.

This means all the profits and losses “pass through” the business and straight to you or the individual members who own the business. That information is then reported on your own tax return. By doing this, you’ll be paying less taxes because profits are not taxed at both the business level and the personal level.

Another advantage to operating a LLC is that, as the owner, you usually aren’t responsible for the company's debts and liabilities. There are many different types of LLCs; some have the option to choose a preferred type of tax structure. As far as IRS tax extension goes, there are three types of LLCs that are recognized:

Single-Member LLC
The IRS considers a Single Member LLC to be a "Disregarded Entity" in which activities of the LLC should be reflected on your own tax return. To file a tax extension for a Single Member LLC, you should use the Personal Tax Extension Form 4868.

Multi-Member LLC
If your LLC has multiple owners, the IRS will treat the business as a Partnership unless it has elected otherwise. In this case, your Multi-Member LLC can file the Business Tax Extension Form 7004 to receive an additional five to six months of time to file your tax return.

Multi-Member LLC as a Corporation
With at least two members, your LLC is classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes unless you file a Form 8832 and elect your LLC to be recognized as a corporation. A Multi-Member LLC as a Corporation can receive a six month tax extension by also filing the Business Tax Extension Form 7004.

There aren’t any limits to the number of members your LLC can have, but keep in mind that there are some types of businesses that cannot become LLCs like banks or insurance companies. Before you decide to form an LLC, it may be best for you to consult with a lawyer and review the requirements for your state as well as the federal tax regulations for further information.

If you need more time to file, keep your LLC compliant with IRS regulations by e-filing your tax extension with ExpressExtension. We offer support for tax extensions needed for Single-Member and Multi-Member LLCs. By working closely with the IRS, we provide a fast and secure service that will save you time and money.

For any assistance or questions about e-filing any of our available extensions, our live professionals are standing by. Contact us by phone Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm, Eastern Standard Time, at (803) 514-5155, by email at support@expressextension.com, or by live chat at www.expressextension.com.


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7/14/2015

3 Ways To Pay Your Estimated Tax




Doesn’t matter which extension you file, either the personal, business, tax-exempt, or *takes deep breath* an extension for military personnel, a resident of Puerto Rico, or a nonresident foreigner, the fine print will always remain the same. The extension only lengthens the time you have to file your return - not the time you have to pay any taxes owed to the IRS. You are required to pay your estimated tax liability by the original due date.

But figuring out your tax liability without having all the necessary information, which is why you probably filed an extension to begin with, can be like trying to make your way through a dim, wet cave. Feel free to utilize the following blogs to shine some light:
Now that you have “enlightened” the cave… Get it? Anyway, now that you got your light, you have one of three paths you can take in order to make it out this cave.

Why three paths, you ask? Well, once you figure out your estimated tax liability, you have a choice of three different ways to make your IRS payment.

Path #1 - Postal Mail
No matter how far technology takes us, nothing really beats good, old-fashioned pen and paper. If you choose to pay your tax due by mail:
  • Do not send cash 
  • Make a check or money order payable to the "United States Treasury"
  • Write your social security number, daytime phone number, and " 2014 Form 'Name'" on your check or money order
  • Do not staple or attach your payment to the Form
  • Use a completed paper Form as a voucher (if you e-filed your tax form)
Afterwards, you can mail your form and payment to:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 802503
Cincinnati, OH 45280-2503

Path #2 - Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)
The IRS can also accept payments via EFTPS. You have to schedule the EFTPS payment on your own, and you are responsible for timely payment of the taxes. Please visit www.eftps.gov or call 1-800-555-4477. For your EFTPS payments to be on time, you must initiate the transaction at least one business day before the date the payment is due.

Check out the following blog for more information about EFTPS:
Path #3 - Direct Debit or Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW)
The IRS can initiate an electronic funds withdrawal from your bank by using either checking or saving account details that you can provide along with e-filing your return. It’s imperative that you make sure to have enough funds in the bank to cover the tax dues. This option is available only if you e-filed your tax extension.

To cancel a payment, you must contact the U.S. Treasury Financial Agent at 1-888-353-4537 no later than two business days before the payment date.

Save yourself from anymore cave analogies by e-filing your tax extension with ExpressExtension. As mentioned earlier, we offer electronic funds withdrawals so that you can pay any taxes owed at the same time as e-filing your extension. E-file from any location by downloading our FREE app for iOS and Android tablet devices, or visit our mobile site to e-file using any mobile browser.

For assistance with e-filing your tax extension or electronically paying your tax liability, contact our live professionals located at Rock Hill, South Carolina at (803) 514-5155 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 6pm, EST), or email us at support@expressextension.com or live chat with us at www.expressextension.com.


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7/09/2015

Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)




After all the mentions, side-notes, and, at times, just shameless plugins, you should now be aware that tax extensions only extend your time to file a return - not the time to pay any taxes you may owe to IRS. If you filed your extension on time, but fail to pay your estimated tax liability, the IRS has a few enticing methods of making you see things their way including keeping the money that they may owe you… But that’s another plugin for another blog. *no shame*

One way you can submit payment is through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). It’s a free service from the U.S. Department of Treasury in which all federal taxes can be paid. You can make payments from the EFTPS website, voice response system, or specific channels made for tax professionals, payroll services, and financial institutions.

How It Works:
1. You’ll want to enroll online. To do so, you’ll need
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you're enrolling as a business
  • Social Security Number (SSN) if you're enrolling as an individual
  • Banking account number and routing number
  • Address and name as they appear on your IRS tax documents
Follow the online prompts and in seven business days, you’ll get your Personal Identification Number (PIN) in the mail.

2. Your PIN arrives by postal mail. Afterwards, you should call 1.800.982.3526 in order to obtain your temporary Internet password.

3. You’ll need to go to www.eftps.gov
  • Select "Make a Payment"
  • Log in with your EIN/SSN, PIN, and Internet password
  • Enter the payment information in the step-by-step screens
  • Save a copy of the Payment Confirmation page
Your Payment Confirmation page will contain an Electronic Federal Tax (EFT) Acknowledgement Number that serves as a receipt of your payment.

That, my friend, is pretty much the gist of it. EFTPS service is quick, secure, accurate, and is available by phone or online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also schedule a business payment up to 120 days in advance or an individual payment up to 365 days in advance.

Don’t forget that you can also pay your estimated tax at the same time you e-file your tax extension with ExpressExtension; payment is accepted online by Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) using your checking or savings account information. For assistance with e-filing your tax extension or electronically paying your tax liability, contact our live professionals located at Rock Hill, South Carolina at (803) 514-5155 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 6pm, EST), or email us at support@expressextension.com or live chat with us at www.expressextension.com.


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7/07/2015

Income Tax Extension




As the United States further progresses with equality and rights for all, there’s another entity that doesn’t discriminate… just as long as you need additional time to file your Federal Income Tax. 
You can file an IRS Income Tax Extension even if you’re just an individual, a business, or a tax-exempt organization. Yeah, you see? That’s unity.

Depending on the specific type of tax extension filed, you can extend the filing deadline by up to six months.

Anyone can file an Income Tax Extension with the IRS. Again, unity.
  • A Personal Tax Extension can be filed with IRS Form 4868 for Individuals, 1099 Contractors, Sole Proprietors, and Single Member LLCs to get a 6 month extension of time to file
  • A Business Tax Extension can be filed with IRS Form 7004 for Multi Member LLCs, C-Corporations, S-Corporations, Partnerships, Trusts, and Estates, to name a few
  • An Exempt Organization Tax Extension can be filed with IRS Form 8868 for Tax-Exempt Organizations
The Deadline to File an Income Tax Extension depends on which form you need to file:
  • The deadline for most Corporate tax returns (Form 7004) is March 16
  • The deadline for Personal Tax returns (Form 4868) is April 15
  • The deadline for Exempt Organizations (Form 8868) is May 15
What really binds these extensions together into the greatest of coalitions is that they can all be e-filed with ExpressExtension. And with ExpressExtension, you’ll receive an acknowledgement of the IRS acceptance or rejection of your extension. If your request is denied, you’ll receive a notification of the reason it was rejected, followed by the opportunity to correct your errors and resubmit with no additional cost. That’s a truth that needs no stretch.

And there you have it. Celebrate the equality of all mankind by e-filing your tax extension with ExpressExtension. Live professionals are available at our Rock Hill, South Carolina office. Feel free to call (803.514.5155, Monday - Friday, 9am - 6pm EST), e-mail (support@expressextensions.com), or chat with us (www.expressextensions.com) for any further assistance e-filing your extension.


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7/02/2015

Combat-Zone Extension




In continuation with our Fourth of July celebration this week, we, at ExpressExtension, have decided to dive a bit further in bringing you information about tax extensions for military personnel.

If you can remember, or have just read our last blog, Military Personnel Extension, there was a small section where we explained that if you’re serving in a combat zone or a contingency operation, then you receive an automatic tax extension. This extension is for 180 days, roughly six months, which extends your deadline to file your return as well as paying any taxes you may owe and filing claims for a refund.

Not only does this automatic extension apply to service members, but it’s also the same for
  • Red Cross personnel
  • Contributors and civilians accredited under the direction of the military and in support of the military
  • United States Merchant Marines serving aboard vessels under the operational control of the Department of Defense 
In addition to receiving your automatic, combat-zone extension, you won’t be charged any penalties or interests on any taxes due.

There are several combat-related circumstances the IRS recognizes as qualifying for an automatic extension:

Serving in a Combat Zone
A combat zone is considered any area in which the military is engaging or has engaged in combat as designated by our President of the United States as an executive order. Usually, an area becomes a combat zone and ceases to be a combat zone based on dates implied within the executive order.

Serving in a Location Outside a Combat Zone that was Considered to be Performed in a Combat Zone
Military service outside a combat zone can be considered as performed within the combat zone. It’s ultimately the decision of the Department of Defense if the service is in direct support of military operations within the combat zone.

Deploying in Support of a Contingency Operation
Being deployed outside the U.S. away from your permanent duty station while taking part in a contingency operation qualifies for a federal tax income extension.
A contingency operation is considered as any military operation that results in calling members of the uniformed services to active duty, or retain services on active duty, during a war or a national emergency; it’s designated by the Secretary of Defense.

Having a Missing Status
If you’ve been in missing status, such as missing in action (M.I.A.) or prisoner or war (P.O.W), your time in that status also counts as time being in a combat zone or contingency operation.

Supporting the Military in a Combat Zone or Contingency Operation
If you are involved with nonmilitary support personnel serving in a combat zone or contingency operation in support of the military, you also qualify for an automatic federal tax income extension. This goes for Red Cross personnel and those accredited under the direction and support of the military.

There are a couple of exceptions involving your spouse being entitled to the same extension. For further details, visit the IRS webpage.

Along with the 180 days extension, you also get any remaining days from before you were eligible for the combat zone extension. In other words, let’s say you became eligible on March 1. You typically have until April 15 to file a return under normal circumstances. That month and a half left, after you became eligible, gets added to your 180 days.

If you happen to be filing normally and you need an extension, show your patriotism by e-filing with ExpressExtension, a US-based company in the small town of Rock Hill, SC! You can even download our FREE Express 4868 App for iOS and Android devices while at any of your Fourth of July celebrations this week. We at ExpressExtension salute our American troops and wish everyone a very safe and happy Fourth of July.

For assistance with e-filing our available personal tax extension, contact our live professionals located at Rock Hill, South Carolina at (803) 514-5155 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 6pm, EST), or email us at support@expressextension.com or live chat with us at www.expressextension.com.


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