April 11 – Report Tips to Employer
If you are an employee who works for tips and received more than $20 in tips during March, you are required to report them to your employer on IRS Form 4070 no later than April 11. Your employer is required to withhold FICA taxes and income tax withholding for these tips from your regular wages. If your regular wages are insufficient to cover the FICA and tax withholding, the employer will report the amount of the uncollected withholding in box 12 of your W-2 for the year. You will be required to pay the uncollected withholding when your return for the year is filed.
April 18 – Taxpayers with Foreign Financial Interests
A U.S. citizen or resident, or a person doing business in the United States, who has a financial interest in or signature or other authority over any foreign financial accounts (bank, securities or other types of financial accounts), in a foreign country, is required to file Form FinCEN 114. The form must be filed electronically; paper forms are not allowed. The form must be filed with the Treasury Department (not the IRS) no later than April 18, 2022, for 2021. An extension of time to file of up to 6 months is automatically allowed. This filing requirement applies only if the aggregate value of these financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during 2021. Contact our office for additional information and assistance filing the form.
April 18 – Individual Tax Returns Due
Although April 15 is on a Friday in 2022, and individual income tax returns would normally be due that day, because the Washington, D.C. Emancipation Day holiday is observed on Friday, April 15, the due date is pushed to Monday, April 18. If you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you may file by April 19 (because April 18 is Patriots’ Day).
File a 2021 income tax return (Form 1040 or 1040-SR) and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic six-month extension of time to file the return, please call this office.
Caution: The extension gives you until October 17, 2022, to file your 2021 1040 or 1040-SR return without being liable for the late filing penalty. However, it does not avoid the late payment penalty; thus, if you owe money, the late payment penalty can be severe, so you are encouraged to file as soon as possible to minimize that penalty. Also, you will owe interest, figured from the original due date until the tax is paid. If you have a refund, there is no penalty; however, you are giving the government a free loan, since they will only pay interest starting 45 days after the return is filed. Please call this office to discuss your individual situation if you are unable to file by the April 18 due date.
April 18 – Estimated Tax Payment Due (Individuals)
It’s time to make your first quarter estimated tax installment payment for the 2022 tax year. Our tax system is a “pay-as-you-earn” system. To facilitate that concept, the government has provided several means of assisting taxpayers in meeting the “pay-as-you-earn” requirement.
Payroll withholding for employees;
Pension withholding for retirees; and
Estimated tax payments for self-employed individuals and those with other sources of income not covered by withholding.
When a taxpayer fails to prepay a safe harbor (minimum) amount, they can be subject to the underpayment penalty. This penalty is equal to the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points, and the penalty is computed on a quarter-by-quarter basis.
Federal tax law does provide ways to avoid the underpayment penalty. If the underpayment is less than $1,000 (the “de minimis amount”), no penalty is assessed. In addition, the law provides “safe harbor” prepayments. There are two safe harbors:
The first safe harbor is based on the tax owed in the current year. If your payments equal or exceed 90% of what is owed in the current year, you can escape a penalty.
The second safe harbor is based on the tax owed in the immediately preceding tax year. This safe harbor is generally 100% of the prior year’s tax liability. However, for taxpayers whose AGI exceeds $150,000 ($75,000 for married taxpayers filing separately), the prior year’s safe harbor is 110%.
Example: Suppose your tax for the year is $10,000 and your prepayments total $5,600. The result is that you owe an additional $4,400 on your tax return. To find out if you owe a penalty, see if you meet the first safe harbor exception. Since 90% of $10,000 is $9,000, your prepayments fell short of the mark. You can’t avoid the penalty under this exception.
However, in the above example, the safe harbor may still apply. Assume your prior year’s tax was $5,000. Since you prepaid $5,600, which is greater than 110% of the prior year’s tax (110% = $5,500), you qualify for this safe harbor and can escape the penalty.
This example underscores the importance of making sure your prepayments are adequate, especially if you have a large increase in income. This is common when there is a large gain from the sale of stocks, sale of property, when large bonuses are paid, when a taxpayer retires, etc. Timely payment of each required estimated tax installment is also a requirement to meet the safe harbor exception to the penalty. If you have questions regarding your safe harbor estimates, please call this office as soon as possible.
CAUTION: Some state de minimis amounts and safe harbor estimate rules are different than those for the Federal estimates. Please call this office for particular state safe harbor rules.
April 18 – Last Day to Make Contributions
Last day to make contributions to Traditional and Roth IRAs for the tax year 2021.