January 19, 2016 Marked the Start of the Income Tax Filing Season
While some taxpayers wait until the last minute to file, others are extremely prepared and wonder if they can file early. Perhaps they’ve already received all of their 1099s and W2s and had some extra time to meet with their tax preparer. Or, maybe they’ve heard about various tax scams, and the IRS’s advice to avoid falling victim to a SIRF scam was to file early so that others can’t claim a fraudulent refund in your name.
Unfortunately, taxpayers cannot file their taxes early. But, the good news is that tax season has arrived and individuals are free to file their income taxes as soon as they can get them prepared. There’s also good news for those who prefer to wait until the last moment. Due to the calendar and the way certain holidays fall, taxpayers have several more days to complete their income tax filing.
When Is My Income Tax Filing Due?
With the start of the income tax filing season, most people would probably expect the income tax filing deadline to fall on its traditional date of April 15th. However, there are exceptions to this rule–a federal or state holiday may fall on that date, or when April 15th falls on a weekend. For the 2016 filing season, all taxpayers can take advantage of the these exceptions.
This year, April 15th falls on a Saturday. The fifteenth falls on a holiday recognized in Washington D.C. known as Emancipation Day. Since the 15th is on a Friday and the filing deadline cannot fall on a weekend, the federal tax filing deadline is pushed back to the following Monday. That means for most taxpayers, the new filing deadline in Monday, April 18, 2016. However, some taxpayers in New England will be able to benefit twice from the deadline falling on a holiday. In Massachusetts and Maine, April 18th is a state holiday known as Patriot’s Day. In these states the filing deadline is pushed back to Tuesday, April 19, 2016.
Since fines and penalties can apply to taxpayers who fail to file taxes, fail to pay their taxes due and owing, or both, the filing deadlines for the 2016 tax filing season are:
- California and 47 other states: Monday, April 18, 2016.
- Maine & Massachusetts: Tuesday, April 19, 2016
When Are My 2015 FBAR and FATCA Offshore Disclosures Due in 2016?
Taxpayers holding foreign accounts or foreign assets that exceed the allowed maximums may trigger a foreign account disclosure obligation, regardless of whether they are living in the United States or abroad as an expatriate. For taxpayers with foreign covered aggregate accounts or assets in excess of $10,000, a duty to file an FBAR is triggered. FBAR can only be satisfied by filing online – there is no option to complete a form with pen and paper and mail it to the IRS. The obligation can only be satisfied by going online to FinCEN’s BSA E-Filing portal, and completing and submitting FinCEN Form 114a. The filing deadline to satisfy FBAR is June 30th. No extension is available. Furthermore, even an accidental failure to file can be punished by a penalty of up to $10,000.
Aside from FBAR, the Foreign Account and Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) forms the basis for a second offshore disclosure obligation. There is no hard triggering threshold as to when FATCA must be filed. That is, the amount of aggregate covered accounts and assets that will give rise to a FATCA filing obligation vary based on both one’s tax filing status (sole or joint filer), and on whether the individual is living in the United State or in a foreign nation. As a general rule, couples filing jointly can hold more assets than a sole filer before a filing obligation is triggered. Likewise, individuals living abroad can hold more foreign assets than someone living domestically before a filing obligation is triggered. Joint filers living abroad can hold the greatest amount of assets before a FATCA disclosure is required. The FATCA obligation can be satisfied by completing and filing IRS Form 8938. Typically, the return is filed along with the income tax return.
A Sacramento Tax Lawyer Can Assist Taxpayers with Income Tax and Offshore Disclosure Compliance
Taxpayers seeking assistance in maintaining their tax compliance can work with an experienced Sacramento tax attorney of the NewPoint Law Group. Likewise, we can also assist tax or foreign disclosure non-filers achieve tax compliance while working to minimize fines and penalties. Taxpayers who failed to file in the past and continue their non-compliance are only increasing the fines and penalties they face once the IRS becomes aware of their actions. To schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced tax attorney or to find out the penalties of failing to file tax returns, call 1-800-358-0305 or contact us online today.