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After a 3-month break from the IRS, Tax Day is here

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The deadline to file federal and state taxes is finally here. The COVID-19 crisis pushed the date back from April 15 to July 15.

But there is good news for those who have yet to cross the daunting task off their to-do list. You still have some time.

“The most important thing to know is you need to file one of two things today, either your taxes or an extension,” said Ben Smith, CEO of the accounting firm Estep-Doctor & Company.

Smith also sits on the Tax Advisory Council for the Indiana Department of Revenue and says while an extension will push the date back to Oct. 15, if you owe money, it still needs to be paid July 15.

“Even if you pay an estimate of how much you owe. If you overpay, you will just get money back,” Smith said.

For some people, paying as it is could be difficult. Smith says the July 15 delay was the government’s attempt to give everyone a break during a time of uncertainty.

But he also says the difficulty now for people who are self-employed or who own small businesses is they are having to pay taxes from 2019 as well as estimated taxes for the first two quarters of 2020.

As as for people who couldn’t pay in April and are still unable to pay now, Smith advises to file July 15 and contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Indiana Department of Revenue.

“They have payment programs. It doesn’t stop the penalties and interest, but they will work with you on setting up payments,” Smith added.

The worst thing you can do is not file anything today. Smith says the penalty fees and interest on what you owe can start to add up and become more difficult to pay.

As for next year, Smith says any stimulus checks received this year are tax-free.

But with the state’s current 12.3% unemployment rate, Smith reminds people going through unusual circumstances because of the pandemic, that those unemployment checks are not tax-free.

The IRS has free software programs to file taxes or an extension. Click here for more information.