Tax season is upon us and even though the filing deadline is months away we all need to be prepared ahead of time. The required documents for each of us will arrive in the mail in the month of January so everyone who plans to file taxes needs to start preparing files and documents that have tax implications.
New for 2012 is the fact that the The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gave taxpayers an extra two days to file taxes this year. April 15th falls on a Sunday and the 16th is Emancipation Day (an observed District of Colombia holiday) so April 17 is the last day that regular tax forms will be received as “on time”. Individuls who are unable or unwilling to file by April 17th may file for an extension and in that case the deadline is October 15th. This extension date is for filing purposes ONLY and is not applicable for individuals who must PAY taxes. If one does not meet the respective deadline then penalties and interest may result as a consequence.
Some people elect to pay their taxes quarterly and in this case the next payment is due on January 16th. The remaining dates for quarterly payments are April 17, June 15 and September 17.
Brokerage firms are now required to report proceeds from the sale of stocks and mutual funds as well as the complete cost basis of investments that have been sold. Individuals and businesses who need to report capital gains should use the new Form 8949 to file such reports.
The rates for calculating business mileage has also changed due to gas prices and inflation. Use a rate of 51 cents per mile up to June 30, 2011 and change to a rate of 55.5 cents per mile from July 1 through December 31. This is the business rate alone; moving and medical mileage is 23 cents per mile and charities can deduct 14 cents per mile.
Individuals making a 2011 tax filing should be aware that the tax credit for first-time home buyers has expired for everyone except those who serve in the military or Foreign Service. The Making Work Pay credit has been eliminated as well, so the $400 single/$800 joint credit against liabilities is no longer valid. For a full list of changes visit irs.gov.
- Deciding On The Simplest Tax Form To Use (2011taxes.org)