Anybody who has ever had a job is familiar with clock watching. There’s a similar tendency among tax geeks. It’s called calendar watching, and it’s done to make sure we don’t miss important tax deadlines.
June always is a busy month for calendar watchers, and sequestration makes it even more worthy of keeping an eye on dates this year.
June 14, furlough day
Friday, June 14, is the second furlough day for the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to all IRS offices nationwide being closed, electronically filed returns won’t be processed. The furlough day also will affect some online and phone-based tax tools. You won’t be able to check the status of your refund via the IRS Where’s My Refund? search tool or access an online payment agreement.
Businesses planning to make employment and excise tax deposits, however, won’t be affected by the furlough day. Those deposits must be made through the Treasury Department’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or EFTPS, which will operate as usual on the furlough day.
Taxpayers also face two other important deadlines in June.
June 17, estimated taxes
Taxpayers who make estimated tax payments face the second payment deadline Monday, June 17.
These four extra tax payments a year cover earnings that aren’t subject to withholding, such as investment income, self-employment income, and gambling or prize winnings.
This estimated tax deadline officially falls on June 15. But because this year that’s a Saturday, it’s pushed to the next business day, Monday, June 17.
June 17, taxpayers abroad
U.S. taxpayers living abroad face the same tax rules as their peers within America’s borders. But they do get a bit of a break at filing time.
True, taxpayers living outside the United States should have paid any taxes owed by April 15. But if they didn’t, they won’t face a penalty for not paying as long as they get their tax returns and amount due to the IRS by June 17. This automatic two-month filing extension also applies to members of the U.S. military who are stationed abroad.
As with the estimated tax deadline, the taxpayer-abroad filing deadline normally is June 15, but is pushed to the next business day in 2013.
Also note that while foreign-based taxpayers won’t be charged penalties for not paying their tax bills two months ago, they will have to pay interest on the unpaid taxes. That charge started accruing April 16.
The easiest way to meet the deadline is to use Free File. Several companies that participate in the free online tax-filing partnership with the IRS handle returns from foreign-based taxpayers. Just remember that your adjusted gross income must be $57,000 or less to use Free File software. If you make more, you can use the free fillable forms options.
If you still can’t file by June 17, send the IRS Form 4868 — and what you owe or a close approximation of it — to get until Oct. 15 to finish up your tax-filing duty.
June 30, foreign account reporting
The end of the month brings another international-related tax deadline.
Regardless of where you live, if you have a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, you must file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, also known as FBAR, with the IRS by June 30.
The FBAR filing, via the awkwardly named Form TD F 90-22.1, is in connection with a foreign bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, trust or other type of foreign financial account. The June 30 deadline is firm. You can’t get any extension.
So don’t miss it. The IRS could slap you with a potential $100,000 penalty or one that comes to 50 percent of the balance in the foreign account, whichever is greater.
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Veteran contributing editor Kay Bell is the author of the book “The Truth About Paying Fewer Taxes” and a co-author of the e-book “Future Millionaires’ Guidebook.”