Tax Day is postponed, Birmingham—what you need to know

While United Way has suspended their free tax filing service for now, you can still file using their free platform. Photo courtesy of United Way

Haven’t filed your taxes yet, Birmingham? No worries. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 deadline has been moved to July 15. We talked to local CPA Charles Stein and found a great video from Samford Brock School of Business instructor Cam Pearce to find out what this means for you. 

1. If you prefer your tax info in video form, here you go

Cam Pearce, CPA, CIA teaches accounting at Samford’s Brock School of Business and she put together this quick, easy video to explain what most of us need to know (as of April 2). Here’s a rundown of tips:

  • Deadline to file and pay is July 15. You don’t need to file any forms to get this automatic extension.
  • You can still file for a tax extension of October 15. Payments are still July 15.
  • No limitation on amount of payment postponed ’till July 15.
  • If you’re due for a refund, go ahead and file. It should take about three weeks to get it.
  • Visit irs.gov for news and forms.

Did you know that Bham Now has put together a database of local small businesses and nonprofits? You can add yours here, or search for ones to support:

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2. Tax Day 2020 really is July 15, not April 15

According to CPA Charles Stein, “the main thing is that all filings and payments that are normally due on April 15 are now due on July 15 with no added penalties or interest.”

Normally, when you file for a tax extension, your deadline to pay taxes is April 15. But this year, you don’t have to pay federal or state taxes until July 15.

3. Anyone who pays estimated taxes needs to know about one weird glitch

If you’re self-employed or retired, you may be in the habit of paying your estimated taxes quarterly, on the 15th of April, June, September and January.

Since everything else is different in 2020, the dates for estimated taxes are also different: 

  • 2nd quarter: June 15 (yes, you read that right)
  • 1st quarter: July 15 (this is not a mistake—you pay 1st quarter in July this year and 2nd quarter in June)
  • 3rd quarter: September 15
  • 4th quarter: January 15, 2021

4. If you still need to file an extension, you can do that, but you’ll owe on July 15

If you’re still not able to make the July 15 filing deadline for whatever reason, you can apply for an extension until October 15. That said, you’ll still have to pay any 2019 taxes due on July 15 or face penalties.

5. You might want to contribute to your Health Savings Account (if you have one)

Given the fact that we’re in a global pandemic, you might want to go ahead and contribute as much as you can to a health savings account that allows you to cover high deductibles in the event of an emergency. This applies if you have a high-deductible insurance plan. 

6. Free tax help is available in Birmingham for those who need it

If you earn $54,000 or less per year, United Way normally provides free tax assistance. At the moment, due to COVID-19, they’ve suspended their normal in-person help. All is not lost, though.

Regardless of your income, if you have a simple tax return, you can file for free here through a partnership with United Way and H&R Block.

According to Patch.com, Impact America is another nonprofit that is providing free online income tax services. SaveFirst Online is available to households making up to $60,000 per year.

Website | Call: 1.888.99.TAX.AL to find out more.

If you work with a nonprofit or a small business that is helping people during this time, please add your information into our database:

🌟 Support over 78 local nonprofit organizations
➡️ Add Yours

🌟 Search over 430 local restaurants, bars and businesses offering deals, curbside delivery and more
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7. Find out what you can do if your income has fallen

Many people and businesses were trucking along nicely until mid-March, and now, through no fault of their own, we know many are facing unforeseen income and revenue drops. There is a lot of help available, so we put together a mega-guide of 8 things you can do if your income has fallen

Now tell us, Birmingham, what do you think of the tax filing extension? Tag us on social @bhamnow and let us know.