Six things for extension filers to remember

Six things for extension filers to remember

Oct. 15 is almost here, and it’s the last day to file for most people who requested an automatic six-month extension for their 2017 tax returns. These taxpayers should remember that they can file any time before Oct. 15 if they have all their required tax documents. They can also pay their tax bill in full, or make a partial payment, anytime, by visiting IRS.gov/payments.

As extension filers prepare to file, here are some things they should know:

  • They can still use IRS Free File.  Nearly everyone can e-file their tax return for free through IRS Free File. The program is available on IRS.gov now through Oct. 15. IRS e-file is easy, safe and the most accurate way for people to file their taxes. E-file also helps people get all the tax benefits they’re entitled to claim.
  • A refund may be waiting.  Anyone due a refund should file as soon as possible to get their money. The sooner someone files, the sooner they’ll get it. Don’t forget to use Direct Deposit. It is the best and fastest way for taxpayers to get their tax refund electronically deposited for free into their financial account.
  • They should consider IRS Direct Pay.  Taxpayers who owe taxes can pay them with IRS Direct Pay. It’s the simple, quick and free way to pay from a checking or savings account. Taxpayers can just click on the ‘Pay’ at IRS.gov.
  • Here’s what taxpayers should do about a missed deadline. Anyone who did not request an extension by this year’s April 17 deadline should file and pay as soon as possible. This will stop additional interest and penalties from adding up. IRS Direct Pay offers a free, secure and easy way to pay taxes directly from a checking or savings account. There is no penalty for filing a late return for people who are due a refund.
  • Taxpayers should remember the Oct. 15 Deadline.  Taxpayers who aren’t ready to file yet should remember to file by Oct. 15 to avoid a failure-to-file penalty. Taxpayers who owe and can’t pay their balance in full should pay as much as they can to reduce interest and penalties for late payment. They can use the Online Payment Agreement tool to apply for more time to pay or set up an installment agreement. In most cases, the failure-to-file penalty is 10 times more than the failure-to-pay penalty.
  • More Time for the MilitaryMembers of the military and others serving in a combat zone get more time to file. These taxpayers typically have until at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to both file returns and pay any taxes due.

From IRS Website:  #IRSTaxTip: Six things for extension filers to remember

Are you Insured? Are you Sure?

If your business happens to be located in the area of Middleton, WI, you very likely experienced a flood like we’ve never seen before in this area.   During a 24 hour period of time beginning at 7am on Monday, August 20th  through 7am on Tuesday August 21st, the Madison/Middleton area received an unofficial record downpour of 13 inches of rain.  At some points, rain was coming down at a record pace of 2-4 inches per hour.  Nature is amazing, that is until it decides to invade your business.  And as a couple of my clients in the area discovered – nature can be very costly too.

Which leads me to this blog post… Do you know if your Commercial Insurance package covers your business  for water damage?  Turns out for my clients affected by this flood, their policies have ZERO coverage, I mean we are talking upwards to $100,000 in damages per client!  Would your business be able to recover from this?  Could you replace your inventory, furniture, computers, walls and flooring if nature decided to come inside?  Turns out if you just have a standard commercial package, you may not be covered for floods!

Because I’ve never, nor have my clients, needed to use flood coverage, we never realized that  unless your business is located in a defined “high flood risk” zone or unless you have a Mortgage – you most likely are not required to carry flood insurance.  The only thing that can even possibly help out financially in this situation is if the area gets declared a Federal Disaster then, although the cost is still yours, there is usually assistance programs to help get you loans to help get you back up and running.  However, this is still completely coming out of YOUR pocket.

Now, I’m not going to advocate here for any one particular insurance provider because the intricacies of insurance should be left to the Insurance professionals but what I will tell you is that there are policies out there called “Commercial Flood Insurance” that you can buy for your business to cover your Business in the event of a flood.  After seeing the damage done to one of my clients businesses, it’s something that would be well worth the added expense to ensure that something like this doesn’t end your business.

What should you do…

  • First, get on the phone now with your Insurance Agent and have them determine if you have flood insurance. Do you have coverage for Water Damage at all?  Don’t wait until the flood comes to you to ask about if you are covered.  That will be too late.
  • If it’s determined that you Do NOT have coverage, do a web search for Commercial Flood Insurance. I promise, several names/providers will come up in your search.
  • Then ask your Insurance Agent about any/all of these coverages before you buy. Be sure you understand what would and wouldn’t be covered should that creek behind your business become a lake (seriously, that’s exactly what just happened).

I hope this blog turns out to be helpful.  We/I never, ever thought that this would happen where it did but nature decided otherwise.   So, I learned a valuable lesson about my Insurance Coverage and I’m hoping this possibly helps you mitigate any potential future disaster you may face.  Stay dry!