Tax Center

2013 Tax Filing Changes
2013 Tax Law Impact posted 1/13
2013 Tax Update posted 12/12
Tax Marketing Kit for
Affiliates & Counselors

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Tax Filing News
  1. Tax Filing After April 15
  2. Tax Counselor Favorite Tools
  3. Modernized E-File promises Faster Notifications
  4. E-File Status Tool
  5. Encourage Tax Clients to Use Email
  6. Refund Frequently Asked Questions
  7. "Where's My Refund?" Tool
  8. Tax filers who do not owe federal taxes have until October 15, 2014 to e-file. Electronic filing: Submit returns by 11:59 pm local time.
  9. Frequently Used Tax Terms
  10. Summary of tax changes and updates
  11. FAFSA Tip
  12. 2014 Deadlines, Grace Periods and Extensions
  13. IRS Collection Process
  14. How to Detect and Report Tax-Related Scams
  15. Identity Theft
FAFSA TIP - Those who use The Benefit Bank Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to file their tax returns can take advantage of the auto-fill feature to automatically complete the FAFSA form and improve the tax filing experience. Clients who have already filed a tax return without The Benefit Bank tax filing application can still use The Benefit Bank FAFSA form. Learn More About FAFSA

Deadlines, Grace Periods and Extensions

Official 2014 Deadline
The last day to file both the federal and state tax return is Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Electronic filing: Submit returns by 11:59 p.m. local time.

Post April 15th Rejection Grace Period
Tax filers have until April 20th to re-file a rejected return. The original return must have been filed by April 15th.

6 Month Grace Period
Tax filers who do not owe federal taxes have until October 15, 2014 to e-file.

Tax Filing Extensions
A tax filing deadline extension changes the tax filing deadline from April 15th to October 15th. IRS Form 4868 must be completed for the federal tax return deadline extension and most states will accept this form for an extension on state return deadlines as well.
Currently, The Benefit Bank does not support Form 4868, but it is easy to obtain Form 4868 through the IRS web site.

What if money is owed and more time to file is needed?
Some form of estimated payment should accompany the file for deadline extension. The payment will be applied to the tax filer's account. If an overpayment is made, the excess will be returned by the IRS. Please be aware that an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. The IRS will calculate interest on any past-due tax amounts and late-payment penalties will apply. The Benefit Bank cannot assist with calculating interest and penalties.

Is the ability to file back taxes impacted by the end of tax season?
Back taxes are not impacted. Returns for back taxes must be printed and mailed.
2013 tax filing deadlines are extended in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas.

Clients Who Owe Taxes IRS Collection Process

Payment Extension: Provides eligible taxpayers with an extension of time to fully PAY 2013 taxes because of undue hardship. Interest will run on the 2013 taxes from April 15, 2014 until the tax is paid in full but no failure-to-pay penalties will be due as long as the tax and interest are paid in full by the extension due date. Interested taxpayers should fill out Form 1127, Application for Extension of Time for Payment of Tax Due to Undue Hardship.

Installment Agreements: An installment agreement is a payment option for those who cannot pay their entire tax bill by the due date. This option gives more taxpayers the ability to use streamlined installment payment plans to catch up on back taxes and also more time to pay. Interested taxpayers can apply online, call the IRS, or fill out Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. The IRS charges $105 for setting up the agreement or $52 if the payments are deducted directly from your bank account ($43 for qualified lower-income taxpayers). The IRS will automatically give you the low income installment agreement fee if you qualify; you do not have to request it.

Offer in Compromise: An Offer in Compromise is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer's tax liability for less than the full amount owed. This option is not for everyone and should only be used when all other viable options have been explored and ruled out. Interested taxpayers can find out if they are eligible by using the online Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier and can use Form 656, Offer in Compromise to apply.

Low Income Tax Clinics The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic program provides partial funding and oversight for Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs). LITCs are independent from the IRS.

Some clinics serve individuals who need to resolve a tax problem and their income is below a certain level. These clinics provide professional representation before the IRS or in court on audits, appeals, tax collection disputes, and other issues for free or for a small fee. Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in many different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. List of Clinics

Modernized E-File from IRS Promises Faster Notifications

The IRS upgraded its electronic filing system last year. It is now referred to as Modernized E-File. Perhaps the greatest benefit of this upgrade is the increased speed of IRS acceptance and rejection notifications.  In many internal tests, the IRS has responded with acceptance or rejection notifications within just a few minutes of a client submitting an income tax return. Faster notifications can significantly shorten the time between filing an income tax return and receiving a tax refund, especially when changes are necessary before the return is officially accepted. 

E-File Status Tool

The Benefit Bank counselors are encouraged to take a few minutes at the end of a client's tax filing session to check the status of that client's return using the E-File Status tool, located on the client home page.

Clients can also access the E-File Status tool from their home computer by using Self-Serve.

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Last Update 1/14