Deadlines, Payments and Scams: Last-Minute Tax Tips for Hoosiers
By Mary Kuhlman
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Some Hoosiers have already filed their taxes and received their refunds, but there are some who may not even have gathered up their paperwork to get started. The April 15 deadline is just a week away and, according to IRS Indiana spokesman Luis Garcia, for most taxpayers filing is a simple process and can be done online through e-file. For those who owe, but do not have the money to pay up right away, Garcia said the IRS offers payment options to help them meet their federal tax obligations.
“We can adjust for what you can pay and what is for the foreseeable future assumed to be your income,” he said. “A lot of people think it’s the end of the world, or all sorts of bad things are going to happen, and that’s not the case at all.”
Taxpayers will avoid penalties by either filing by April 15 or requesting a tax-filing extension and paying an estimate of what is owed, if anything.
He pointed out that it is an extension to file, not an extension to pay, and added that those who are unable to file and think they will owe should go ahead and make an estimated payment by the 15th.
“If you were self-employed, or a person whose taxes are a little bit different than the standard W-2 and your income, your deductions, and everything have pretty much been the same since last year, you would want to pay that same amount as last year, maybe pad it a little bit,” Garcia suggested.
As usual this time each year, there are some phone and email scams targeting taxpayers. Garcia said the scammers claim they are from the IRS, telling people they are behind on their taxes and demanding immediate payment. And while the Caller ID may indicate “IRS,” he said that’s not the case; it’s a fake.
“In most cases you are going to have several letters from the IRS before you receive a phone call, but it’s very rare that you will get a call out of the blue from the IRS, and we will certainly not use threatening language and we will not ask for immediate payment on a credit card or wire transfer,” the IRS official said.
According to Garcia, an estimated 82 percent of taxpayers in Indiana will receive refunds, this year averaging $3000.
More information on filing is available online at IRS.gov.