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10/28/2015

Happy Halloween from ExpressExtension

This weekend is the one all the kids having been waiting for, and probably a few adults as well. That’s right, the little ghouls and goblins will be out roaming the neighborhoods with bags for delightful treats. And while the sight may be a bit frightful, one thing you won’t have to be scared about is having enough time to file your tax return.

Your tax season may be over already, but tax preparation can be done year round. And if you anticipate any reason why you might have to file late, you can rest easy by e-filing a tax extension through ExpressExtension. E-filing an extension with our services is easy and can be done literally in minutes. In most instances, a reason for filing an extension isn’t even needed. And we offer tax extensions for exempt organizations, personal tax returns, and business tax returns.

Now that you have conquered your fear of the upcoming tax season, here are some tips, for you parents, found through the all-knowing Internet on keeping your little ghost, monster, princess, or superhero out of harm’s way this weekend:
  • Try to refrain from costumes with too much flowing fabric. These can easily catch an open flame from a Jack-O’-Lantern, or even cause trips and falls.
  • Use costumes with bright colors that can be spotted easily, or decorate it with reflective tape or stickers. Be sure to have a flashlight available as well.
  • Try face paints or makeup rather than masks, which can interfere with vision. If a mask must be worn, make sure it’s a firm fit with properly sized eye holes.
  • Double-check the treats that have been received. Throw away anything that appears altered, loosely wrapped, or just weird. If there is anything homemade, be sure it came from a person you know and trust.
  • Accompany your children trick-or-treating if they are under 13 years of age. If you have older children, be sure they are within a group following a predetermined route, and have a set time to return.
  • Step slowly when walking and be aware of vehicles. Look both ways and make eye contact with drivers when crossing and always use the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic and on the far left side.
  • Make sure your child knows to only approach well-lit houses and to wait on the porch within street view, and to never cross between parked vehicles.
  • Back out slowly if you’re driving and be attentive to the road at all times - no distracted driving.
Parents can find more information on keeping children safe year round through Safe Kids Worldwide and more Halloween safety tips with the American Academy of Pediatrics. We, at ExpressExtension, wish you all a safe and happy Halloween night.

Halloween may be a night of scares and frights, but don’t be scared to contact our live team of professionals if you have any questions, or need assistance, with e-filing your tax extension. We’re located in Rock Hill, South Carolina and are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at (803) 514-5155. We also offer 24/7 email at support@expressextension.com and live chat at www.expressextension.com.




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10/26/2015

Past Due Extensions

Tax extensions are great because they basically grant second chances for those who still need to file their tax return. And who doesn’t like a second chance when it comes to anything? But not only that, extensions can be strategically used to take advantage of deductions that you might not have considered the first time through your tax return. However, to receive any type of leverage from a tax extension, you need to have your extension filed on or before the original due date of your tax return. 

Here are the following due dates for extensions:
Business Tax Extension - March 16.
Personal Tax Extension - April 15.
Exempt Organization Tax Extension - Part 1 - May 15 (or the 15th day of 5th month after your tax year end date). Part 2 - August 15 ( or whenever your extended date is based on your original due date).

“What if I miss my deadline to file an extension?”
While the IRS is lenient with approving tax extensions without requesting an explanation why, the same cannot be said once the deadline has passed. Your best option will be to file your actual tax return as soon as possible to lessen the charge of fees and penalties.

Tax returns for exempt organizations are a unique example. You can have up to two extended deadlines with an extension; however, for the second extension, you are required to provide an explanation why, and must have already been approved for the first extension. If, for some reason, you missed the deadline for filing Part 2 or were not granted a second extension, then it’s the end of the line - even if you successfully filed Part 1.

Silver Lining
With exempt organizations, there may still be a chance to waive any penalties for late filing. With the Form 990 and Form 990-EZ, you can fill out a Schedule O and detail your reasonable cause for missing an extension deadline, or filing late in general. Like anything else in life, there’s no guarantee that it’ll work perfectly in your favor, but at the very least, you’ll know you did everything you could.

Avoid any IRS penalties by extending your deadline to file with ExpressExtension. Even if it’s 11:55pm local time on the day of the deadline, you can still e-file your tax extension. ExpressExtension offers a quick and easy e-filing experience that literally takes only minutes to complete. You don’t even have to be at your home computer to do so. Download our FREE mobile app for iOS and Android tablets, or visit our mobile website to e-file an extension wherever you are.

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 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. You can also either e-mail us at support@expressextension.com, or chat with us at www.expressextension.com for any further assistance e-filing your extension forms.



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10/22/2015

Failure to File versus Failure to Pay

You’ve most likely read, or heard, this numerous times about filing federal taxes: The IRS charges penalties if you don’t file on time, or if you don’t pay your amount due. While this is very much true, you also should know that if you need more time to file a return, you can always file a tax extension. But with a tax extension, you know that it only extends your time to file, and you’re still responsible for paying any owed tax on time.

So no matter how you approach your taxes, you’re slapped with a penalty if you don’t file, and you’re still hit with a penalty if you gain more time to file, but don’t pay on time. And you might be asking yourself, “What’s the difference between failing to file, and failing to pay?”

Failure-to-File

Well, good friends, failure-to-file means exactly how it sounds - not filing your return by the tax deadline. The penalty? Normally, a charge of 5% of the unpaid taxes is applied for each month or part of the month your return is late; this can go up to 25% of your unpaid tax. And if you’re bold enough to have your taxes more than 60 days late, you’ll owe the IRS $135 or 100% of your unpaid tax at minimum.

Now there may be some of you thinking, “I don’t the owe the IRS any taxes, they owe me a refund!” While that could be true, you filing late isn’t going to bring that refund check in any sooner. Plus, you’re building a bad rapport with the IRS as a late filer. And as spoken by one the great musical artists of our time, “Hey why you wanna go and do that?”

And one more thing to ponder, just because you didn’t owe the IRS any taxes last year, doesn’t mean things will automatically be the same for the following year. Taxes are introduced, passed, and vetoed more times than we’re actually aware. Not to mention that any change to your employment, business, location, marital status, or family size could also affect your taxes.

Failure-to-Pay

Even if you successfully file an extension and receive extra time, you’ll incur this penalty if you don’t pay any owed taxes, also known as an estimated tax liability, before your original due date. The penalty charge is generally 0.5% of the unpaid tax each month late, and continues until 25% of your estimated tax has been paid. There are many different options available to pay your taxes on time, and for more information, be sure to view these blogs:


Something You Might Not Know: If you filed an extension, and were able to pay at least 90% of your estimated tax before the original deadline, you’re allowed to pay the last 10% by the extended deadline without incurring any failure-to-pay penalties.

Tag-Team Charges

If you think you can only be charged one penalty, and not the other, then you’re thinking wrong. It is possible for both charges to incur in the same month; however, the 5% charge of the failure-to-file penalty is reduced to the 0.5% charge of the failure-to-pay penalty. But if your return is more than two months late, you’re still charged a minimum of $135 or 100% of your unpaid tax.
Of course, if you can provide reasonable cause to either filing or paying late, you could waive your penalties. Consider contacting a tax professional to inquire about reasonable causes.

Don’t find yourself having to face down IRS penalties, e-file your tax extension quickly and easily with ExpressExtension. We offer extensions for personal, business, and exempt organization tax returns. You can even submit payment for estimated taxes through ExpressExtension with our Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) option.

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






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10/15/2015

Personal Tax Returns Due TODAY!!

Hey, Hey, Hey, Today is the day! For those of you who filed a Personal Tax Extension Form 4868 back in April, you must file your completed personal tax return with the IRS today before midnight local time.

If for some reason you aren’t prepared to have your tax return filed by the end of the day, you may incur those dastardly penalty fees. Generally, the penalty fee is 5% of your unpaid taxes for each month, or part of the month, you’re late. The maximum penalty is up to 25% of your unpaid taxes; however, if you’re more than 60 days late with your return, your fee could be $135, or 100% of your unpaid tax, at minimum!

Today only applies to those of you who filed a Form 4868 earlier this year. If you filed your tax return by the original deadline, but felt an unnecessary amount of pressure or stress doing so, then you might want to consider filing a personal tax extension during your next tax season.

An extension for personal tax can be used for federal income tax returns, independent contractors, sole proprietorships, and single-member LLCs. As for the different variations of federal income taxes, you can file an extension for any of the following forms:
  • 1040
  • 1040A
  • 1040EZ
  • 1040NR
  • 1040NR-EZ
  • 1040-PR
  • 1040-SS
The best aspect about filing an extension is that you really don’t need to provide an explicit reason to do so; however, you’re only extending your time to file. You are still required to pay any owed tax by the original due date. Filing an extension is simple and only requires the following information:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security Number
Married couples who file jointly will also need to provide the same information for your spouse.

Important: Don’t forget to file your personal tax return today before midnight local time.

For those already thinking about next year, give yourself extra time by e-filing your personal tax extension with ExpressExtension. Your extension can be e-filed in minutes, and we have specialized help videos that can show you how quick and easy the process is.You can even e-file away from home with our FREE Express4868 App for iOS and Android devices.

Live professionals are available for questions or assistance at our Rock Hill, South Carolina office. Feel free to call (803.514.5155, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. EST), email (support@expressextensions.com), or chat with us (www.expressextensions.com).








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10/13/2015

Only Two Days Left to File!

It’s about that time again -- time for another IRS filing deadline. If you filed Form 4868 through ExpressExtension.com earlier this year to extend the amount of time to file your Individual Income Tax Return, you must file by October 15th...which is only two days away!

According to the IRS, as of September 28 - just two weeks ago - about a quarter of the 13 million taxpayers who requested an automatic six-month extension this year had yet to file. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has urged taxpayers to e-file their last minute forms by saying, “Even if you’re filing in the final days, filing electronically remains easy, safe, and the most accurate way to file your taxes.”

While you’ve still got a little bit of time, we wanted to remind you to take a moment to see if you qualify for these often-overlooked credits and deductions:
  • Benefits for low-and moderate-income workers and families, especially the Earned Income Tax Credit. The special EITC Assistant can help you see if you’re eligible.
  • Savers credit, claimed on Form 8880, for low-and moderate-income workers who contributed to a retirement plan, such as an IRA or 401(k).
  • American Opportunity Tax Credit, claimed on Form 8863, and other education tax benefits for parents and college students.
Although October 15th is the last day to file for most people, some still have more time. Members of the military and others serving in combat zone localities typically have at least 180 days after leaving the combat zone to file returns and pay any taxes due.

Keep in mind that if you let this deadline pass you by, you will be at the mercy of the Late Filing Penalty Policy of the IRS:

“A late filing penalty is usually charged if your return is filed after the due date (including extensions). The penalty is usually 5% of the amount due for each month or part of a month your return is late. The maximum penalty is 25%. If your return is more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty is $135 or the balance of the tax due on your return, whichever is smaller. You might not owe the penalty if you have a reasonable explanation for filing late.”

So if you’re not doing anything right now, it might be a good idea to go ahead and file that tax return. If you have any questions or need assistance e-filing your tax extension, give us a call at 803-514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or email us 24/7 at support@expressextension.com.






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10/08/2015

Get the Most From Your Extension


By filing a tax extension, you know that you can gain up to six months of extra time to file your tax return. But that’s not all tax extensions are good for. An effective use of tax extensions can help you avoid late fees, improve the accuracy of your return, and save on tax preparation fees just to name a few benefits. If you’re still thinking about whether or not you should file an extension during the tax season, or if you already know that you’re going to file an extension, here are some tips about using extensions to the best of your advantage.

Receive Time to File, Not to Pay - Tax extensions will only grant you extra time to file your actual tax return. If you owe any taxes to the IRS, you are responsible for paying on time whether you’ve been approved for an extension or not. The IRS urges you to go ahead and file your return if completed, rather than filing an extension because you can’t pay. The “Failure to Pay” penalty is less harsh than the penalty for “Failure to File.” The amount of taxes you may owe is known as your estimated tax liability.

For more information about estimated taxes, check out the following blogs:
Pay the Taxes You Owe - Along with filing your tax extension, you also have various options of paying any estimated taxes at the same time. You can submit your payment through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or with Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) which requires either your checking or savings account details.

For more information about paying any tax liability, check out these blogs:
Maximize Tax Deductions - Since you have more time to prepare your tax form, why not increase your chances for a larger tax return by finding new deductions that you qualify for? Unexpected deductions can be found in the form of work-related expenses, or even moving fees. With your approved extension, it would be best to consult with a tax professional about your expenses during the tax year.

For more information about tax deductions, click on the following links:
As you can see, tax extensions can be used for a lot more than just a last minute option to avoid late filing. With ExpressExtension, you can quickly and easily e-file a tax extension within minutes and receive instant approval from the IRS. You can also pay for any tax liability with ExpressExtension through our EFW option. We even offer mobile e-filing with our FREE iOS/Android app for personal tax extensions, and our mobile site for exempt organization extensions; you don’t even have to be in front of a computer.

For any questions or assistance with e-filing your tax extension, you can call our live professionals by phone (803-514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST), email (support@expressextension.com), or live chat (www.expressextension.com).








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10/06/2015

Q & A with ExpressExtension

With one of the last extended tax filing deadlines of the year a little over a week away, things have been getting a little busy around the ExpressExtension office. Next Thursday, October 15, is the last day to file for personal income taxes if you were approved for an extension this year, and in November we’ll have the last extended deadline for non-profits who still need to file. Despite this, we’re never too busy to answer your extension e-filing questions!

If you’ve never filed for one with the IRS, you might be wondering what all this “extension” talk is about. Well, if you file an income tax extension form with the IRS by the date that your taxes are normally due, you can receive a filing extension of up to six months, depending on if you’re filing your personal, business, or tax exempt organization income taxes. Please note that a tax extension grants you additional time to file your returns, but does not grant you additional time to pay any taxes due.

Want to know more? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about tax extensions:

How long will it take?
Not long at all! With ExpressExtension, the process typically only takes about 5-10 minutes from start to IRS acceptance.

If I e-file, is my personal information safe?
As safe as if it were locked up in Gringotts. The IRS has authorized us as an official e-file provider, and our site is encrypted, McAfee Secure certified, and protected by 1286H SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).

Which IRS form do I need to file for a tax extension?
Well that all depends on what you want an extension for. Need an extension for your business’s taxes? That’s Form 7004. For an extension on your personal income taxes, you need Form 4868. And if you run a nonprofit and need some extra time, you should file Form 8868.

When will I know if the IRS has accepted my tax extension?
If you e-file with us we’ll send you an email notice, usually within an hour of filing, to let you know your form has been processed by the IRS.

Do I need to file an extension for my state taxes too?
That depends. Many states automatically grant you a state extension when your federal extension is approved. Don’t worry though, we’ll include some state specific information at the time of your filing based on the state you listed in your address.

What sort of information goes on a tax extension form?
Just the basics, and you don’t even have to include a reason! All the IRS needs is your contact information, your filing status or business type, and an estimate of the taxes you owe.

What taxes do I owe?
Ah, if only we could read the IRS’s mind. Unfortunately, since we can’t, this is a question that you’ll need to refer to either a tax professional or the IRS for an answer.

I’m in a different timezone than ExpressExtension, do I still need to e-file by 12 a.m. EST?
Nope. So long as you file your form before midnight wherever you are located, your form will be on time and considered by the IRS for extension.

Can I do this on my phone?
You sure can! Our website is built to be accessible on a phone or tablet. And, if you’re filing Form 4868, there’s an app for that! Just search “Express 4868” in your device’s app store.

I still need more help?!
No worries! We’re just a phone call, email, or live chat away. We offer email support 24/7 at support@ExpressExtension.com, and you can call us (803-514-5155) or live chat through our website (www.ExpressExtension.com) Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. EST.



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10/01/2015

Extended Tax Deadlines In Autumn

We are well within the final quarter of the year, and if you managed to e-file any tax extensions earlier this year, there are a couple of extended tax deadlines that are still floating around.


Personal Tax Extended Deadline: October 15

If you filed a Personal Tax Extension Form 4868 back in April, then your upcoming, extended deadline is October 15. By filing sooner than later, you can increase your chances of avoiding any late filing penalties. If you’re not able to file your personal tax return right now, please be mindful of the due date. You can mark it on your calendar, or set up some type of electronic notification from your smartphone. But make it so that each day you are reminded to file.


Late Filing Penalty

You should also be aware of late filing penalties for personal tax returns. If you file your return after the due date, or extended due date in this case, you’re usually charged a penalty fee of 5% of the amount due for each month or part of the month your form is late. The maximum penalty is 25% of your amount due; however, if you are 60 days late, the minimum penalty is $135, or the balance of your tax due, whichever one is the least amount.


Exempt Organization Tax Extended Deadline: November 15

If you filed Part II of the Exempt Organization Tax Extension Form 8868 back in August, then your upcoming deadline is November 15. In order to have this November deadline, you must have filed Part I of the Extension Form 8868 back in May, and then, filed Part II before the end of your extended deadline in August; that’s only if your organization operates on a Calendar Tax Year.

For organizations with a Fiscal Tax Year, your second extended deadline is six months beyond the 15th day of 5th month after your tax period ends. But only if you filed Part I and Part II when it was appropriate.


Late Filing Penalty

Penalties for filing exempt returns late depend on the gross receipt amount of your organization. If your organization brings in $1,000,000/yr. and you’re late with filing, the IRS will charge a penalty of $20 each day your form is late. The maximum penalty is $10,000 or 5% of your gross receipts, whichever is the smaller amount. The penalty charge shoots up to $100 per day with a maximum of $50,000 for organizations that exceed $1,000,000 in gross receipts.

Even though you can no longer file for extensions this year, you can be prepared for the upcoming tax season next year. For whatever reason you need to file a tax extension, you can quickly and easily e-file with ExpressExtension. We offer extension forms for business tax, personal tax, and exempt organization tax. E-file on-the-go with our iOS/Android app for personal tax extensions, or our mobile site for exempt organization extensions.

For any questions or assistance with e-filing an extension, contact our expert professionals by phone at (803) 514-5155 (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. EST), email at support@expressextension.com, or live chat at www.expressextension.com.









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