TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Today is April 18th, which means it’s this year’s Tax Day. Understanding the changes of this year’s tax season can be taxing itself for some.
“We love the last day of tax season.” Ester Gulyas, president of EG Tax who has spent the last 50 tax days helping others file their taxes, said.
Gulyas says on Tax Day, it’s a carnival-like atmosphere at EG Tax, as many people come in to finish up their returns — and some come in to start the day of.
But this year, there’s changes happening for filing which could result in even more confusion.
According to Gulyas, the federal government is extending its filing deadline until May 15 automatically for five counties in the country. Erie, Niagara, and Genesee County are three from our area included due to the Buffalo Blizzard back in December.
However, New York State is not following the same extension for returns, and those are due by the end of the day on April 18.
“April 18th is due for the state. May 15 is due for the federal. So, you got to make sure if you owe the state money, and you’re not filing your paperwork, that you do the extension and pay the obligation,” said Gulyas.
For New York State, you either have to file your return or file an extension for your return by the end of the day today. With or without the extension, New York State residents have to pay what they owe or face higher rate penalties.
“If you owe money, and you think ‘I’m not filing until I can pay the obligation,’ bad decision because the big penalty is the failure to file your return, not pay your return.” said Gulyas, “So, if you owe money, you want to get that return in today.”
Gulyas recommends that if you do owe money in your state return and you can’t afford to pay it today, to still file and sign up for a payment program with the IRS or to borrow money from your 401K to avoid facing penalties. She also recommends if that’s the case to adjust your withholding this year, so you don’t get into the same situation next tax season.
Another tax situation Gulyas noted this year is that usually every three years, the statutes of limitations close. Due to the pandemic, the 2019 return would normally be closed today, but that filing deadline is pushed back to July 17 this year.
But what does that mean?
“Up to July 17th, you can still file and amended or original 2019 return and still get your money back.” said Guylas. “This is especially important if you find out there’s something you didn’t do, or something you didn’t claim on your 2019 return, you still get your money back. If you haven’t filed at all, your 2019, you’re in danger of losing your refund.”
For more information on EG Tax, visit their website here.
To file for an extension on your New York State Return, click/tap here for more information.
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Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.