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Meet extended tax filing deadlines

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in Small Business Tax

For most people, the deadline for filing tax returns for the 2017 tax year is a memory, but the clock is still ticking for others.

Alert: The IRS recently reminded taxpayers about extended due dates in special situations. (IRS Internal News Release IR-2018-96, 4/16/18) These individuals have more time to file their ’17 returns.

Generally, the extended deadlines expire in June. Here’s a brief rundown.

Natural disaster victims: Victims of Hurricane Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have until June 29, 2018, to qualify for more time to file their tax returns and pay any taxes due. The June 29 due date also applies to taxpayers who are victims of Tropical Storm Gita in American Samoa.

For details on available tax relief and information on how to take advantage of it, visit the “Around the Nation” page on IRS.gov or see IRS Publication 976, Disaster Relief.

Combat zone taxpayers: Military service members and eligible support personnel serving in a combat zone have at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file their tax returns and pay any taxes due. This includes those serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other combat zones. A complete list of designated combat zone localities can be found in Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide.

In addition, combat zone extensions give qualified taxpayers more time for certain other tax-related actions, including contributing to an IRA. Various circumstances affect the exact length of the extension available to any given taxpayer. Details, including examples illustrating how these extensions are calculated, can be found in the “Extensions of Deadlines” section in Publication 3.

Taxpayers outside the country: U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico have until June 15, 2018, to file their 2017 tax returns and pay any tax that is due. The special June 15 deadline also applies to members of the military on duty outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico who don’t qualify for the longer combat zone extension. Attach a statement to your tax return explaining your situation.

Although taxpayers abroad get more time to pay, keep in mind that interest applies to payments received after April 17. Currently, the rate is 5% per year, compounded daily. So, the sooner you pay, the better.

Tip: Taxpayers who obtained the automatic six-month extension by filing Form 4868 have until October 15, 2018, to file.

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