How to handle taxes during an economic crisis. Well, whether it is a global pandemic shutting the economy down for months, a stock market crash that leaves formerly giddy investors frightened and nervous, or a housing crisis that makes real estate a risky bet, living through tough economic times is never easy. For anyone.
Unfortunately to add on to this stress, how you handle yourself and your money during the crisis could make all the difference in the world. If you do it right, you could emerge stronger, wiser and richer on the other side. The same is true, though, for the flop.
Handling taxes can be especially difficult during times of crisis. With your income uncertain, it can be hard to predict how much you might owe the IRS or how you can make those payments. And if you are self-employed or a gig worker, this economic uncertainty can be even greater.
So, what can you do about your taxes when the economy takes a downturn? Here are some tips to help you along the way now,
or plan well for the future.
Keep up on Filing Extensions, and New Deadlines
When economic turmoil strikes, tax filing deadlines could end up being extended or otherwise relaxed, so do your homework and see how much time you really have. If you follow up on our social media platforms, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or sign up for our newsletter here, we will keep you informed of any of these tax changes as best we can. If you are struggling to make your tax payment, you may have some breathing room after all.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS extended the normal tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, and many state and local governments followed suit. The same may happen in future crises, and it never hurts to find out for sure.
Expecting a Return? File ASAP
Getting extra time to file can be a welcome relief if you owe money to the IRS. If the tax agency owes you, however, it makes sense to file as quickly as possible. Why? Well, the processing of tax refunds is often disrupted during a crisis. So, with short staffing and different procedures suddenly in place, it takes longer for your return to reach you. The sooner you file, the sooner you will have your tax refund money, and that cash could make a world of difference to your financial situation during a crisis.
How you handle that tax refund is important as well, so think about what you will be doing with the money while you are waiting for it to arrive. If you have the extra cash to do so, contributing to an IRA or other tax shelters could reduce the amount you owe going forward, giving you even more money to work with in the years to come.
Might Owe, or Don’t Expect a Return? File ASAP, anyway!
The IRS is starting to enforce collections again, but they’re also not oblivious to the financial crisis we’re in. With nearly 40 million Americans unemployed, we now have the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression.
The outlook is still uncertain, and the IRS knows Americans need to get back to work to buy things in order to stimulate the economy. We all know it’s tougher to do that with a huge tax bill weighing you down.
So, right now, the IRS will likely consider settlements and more favorable terms to taxpayers in trouble, especially if their income drastically decreased due to COVID-19. This is why it’s important to file your taxes and be current in order to explore tax relief options.
IMPORTANT: We highly recommend readers to reach out to our firm first. Our clients never have to talk to the IRS,
and resolving your IRS and state tax problems through our firm can save you money and time in the long run. You might also be eligible for other relief programs or get your penalties and interest forgiven. Reach out to our firm today for a consultation by either calling 480-664-1249 or going here.
Investments Down? Use It to Reduce the Amount You Owe
When the stock market is falling and reaching new lows every day, it’s easy to get depressed and frustrated. There could be a silver lining to that financial cloud. Engaging in strategic tax loss harvesting now, could actually reduce your tax bill substantially when filing season rolls around. What is Tax-loss harvesting? It’s when you sell investments at a loss in order to reduce your tax liability.
If you have investments that have not worked out like you hoped, selling them now and locking in the loss can be a great w
ay to offset capital gains and lower your taxable income. This strategy is not the right choice for everyone, but it can be effective in certain circumstances.
Whether the world is in the midst of a global pandemic, the stock market is going down or real estate is suddenly on sale, the economic crises that are triggered can make tax time even more difficult than they normally are.
If you want to stay financially solvent and avoid penalties, interest and other serious consequences, the strategies listed above can help you do it.
Our firm specializes in tax resolution. We also serve clients virtually so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem. Call us at 480-664-1249 or go to our contact page to reach us by email.