Penalty Proof Your Income Tax Return

The U.S. income tax code is formulated on a pay as you go basis. This simply means that even though your total tax liability cannot be calculated right up until the end of the year and the last dollar of income is collected, taxpayers have to pay taxes throughout the year, through taxes withheld from paychecks through estimated tax payments in the case of the self used. given that the Withholding Tax desk tends to overstate tax liability, the vast vast majority of employees end up with a tax refund the subsequent year. As a make any difference of fact, the U.S. taxpayer seems to be addicted to tax refunds, which averaged $2,900 in 2010. Overall, more than 75% of taxpayers forked over these interest free loans to the U.S. government and many of the remaining ended up owing income, with some being assessed an extra 10% penalty for underpaying taxes for the year. So how do you penalty-proof your IRS tax return ?

Ideally, taxes paid throughout the year should match total taxes owed but this is much easier said than done. The best way for staff to come close to this excellent situation is to modify the number of allowances on the W-4 form or you can even ask your employer to withhold a fixed quantity from your paycheck.

The rule of thumb for avoiding underpayment penalties is that as long as you prepay 90% of the current year’s taxes or, in most cases In any case, you prepay 100% of last year’s tax liability (for taxpayers earning $150,000 or more, 110% of the previous year’s tax liability will have to be prepaid) , you will most likely have accomplished your goal to penalty-proof your IRS tax return.

The situation for the self employed is much more complex simply due to the fact that total income is harder to estimate. History helps but circumstances can and do adjust. It is well known that the only continual is alter.

One more widespread penalty is for Failure To File. Just one more reason to penalty-proof your return.

When you owe taxes and are late filing, penalties are assessed in addition to taxes due and the interest levied on the past due amount. The penalty is generally 5% of taxes owed for each month, or part of a month, up to five months (25%). If your tax return is over 60 days past the due date, the penalty is $100 or 100% of taxes due. If you file on time but do not pay all taxes owed, the late payment penalty sums to one half of one percent (.5%) of taxes due for each month, or part of a month, until finally all taxes due are paid. There is no maximum for the late payment penalty.

Interest will be billed on late or unpaid taxes, regardless of cause. The interest rate is primarily based on the federal quick term rate plus 3% AND is compounded daily, standing at 4% as of December 31, 2010.

Filing for an ext will head off the late filing penalty, but make sure you pay all your taxes due at the same time or you will still have to face the late payment penalty.

Any more reason not to penalty-proof your return?