02 / 03 / 15

The Know on 2014 Taxes- Part 1: Important Dates

Jessica B. Thibodeaux, AttorneyJessica B. Thibodeaux, Attorney

As I enjoyed the beautiful 70 degree weather as I left the office for lunch today, I had the surprising realization that another year has come and gone, and with the onset of Spring right around the corner, so is tax season! Did 2014 fly by as fast for anyone else as it did for me? In preparation of the annual April 15th tax deadline, I wanted to focus my blog post today about Important Dates Regarding Your 2014 Income Tax Returns.

The IRS requires all employers and those you worked for as an Independent Contractor to issue your W-2s and 1099s to you by February 2, 2015.  If you don’t get them by then, be sure to contact your employer to see where your tax forms are.  If you still don’t have it by February 14, 2015 (Happy Valentine’s Day!), call the IRS and they’ll contact your employer directly to inquire about the missing form.

If you’ve been keeping up with Bryson Law Firm, LLC’s blog and other social media postings (follow us on Facebook and Twitter @brysonlawfirm) in the last few weeks, you couldn’t have missed the news articles we’ve shared about the dismal year the IRS is sure to have in 2015 due to budget cuts, employee cutbacks, etc., so here’s a tip if you do have to call the IRS:  Because the wait time to speak to an IRS representative is growing longer and longer, be sure to have your name, address, phone number, and social security number, your employer’s name, address, and phone number, and an estimate of the wages you earned and taxes withheld ready beforehand so that you don’t have to hang up, gather the information they need, and call back!

If you’ve gotten your W-2s and/or 1099s and you’re ready to file, the IRS began accepting tax returns filed electronically and began processing those returns that have been mailed in as of Tuesday, January 20, 2015.  The IRS has issued a statement recommending that taxpayers file their returns electronically because it is the most accurate way to file, and fastest way to get a refund.  However, some of our colleagues have found that returns filed electronically seem more likely to be audited than paper returns submitted.  The choice is yours, at least until late October, as to how you wish to file your return.

If you aren’t as eager to file as those who anxiously awaited the January 20th return acceptance date, remember, your return or an extension to file your federal income tax return is April 15, 2015.  Your Louisiana state income tax return is due a month later, May 15, 2015.  I know, I know, everyone knows when the filing date is!  Here’s something I’ve found a lot of people don’t know- if you choose to file an extension vs. a return on April 15th, it may give you additional time to file, but not pay!  Be sure all of your 2014 tax payments are made by then (or at least 90% of what you’ll owe to avoid any late payment penalties being assessed against you)!  If you were required to make estimated tax payments in 2014, they were due by January 15, 2015.   With an extension, your return is then due October 15, 2015.  If you plan on e-filing your return, the cut-off date this year is October 20, 2015.

Business income tax returns have different deadlines- Your corporate tax returns are due March 16, 2015, and if you’ve filed an extension, your corporate tax return is due September 15, 2015.

One other thing to keep in mind regarding the April 15th tax return filing deadline is for those of you with overdue tax returns.  The IRS has a 3 year limit (what they call an “RSED”) on issuing refunds/credits, so if you are entitled to a refund for the 2011 tax year and haven’t filed the return yet, hurry!  It’s due by April 15th of this year or else you’ll miss out on the refund.  Likewise, if you are entitled to a refund for a 2014 tax year, the return must be filed by April 15, 2018 in order for you to receive it (though I do not suggest you wait that long- it’s a crime not to file your tax returns!).

I hope you all found this helpful and can better navigate through tax season knowing these important dates! My next blog post will cover IRS Updates & Changes to be Aware of with your 2014 Tax Return, so stay tuned!