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Professional offers advice as federal tax deadline nears

Filing an extension, installment plan 2 options for those struggling to pay
Chantelle Brown
Posted at 4:08 PM, Jul 14, 2020

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — If you have not done your 2019 taxes, time is running out.

This tax season has been especially challenging with the coronavirus, resulting in the deadline being moved to July 15.

RELATED: 5 Things to Know about the tax deadline

"I didn’t want to wait long. I had an issue with payment," said Raphael Soto outside an H&R Block in West Palm Beach. "I always wait until the last minute. I hate doing that."

Soto waited until Tuesday to look for help with his taxes.

The extra time between April 15 and this week still may not be enough.

"It was nice to have the extension. I may have to file for another extension unfortunately," said Soto.

An H&R Block located on Okeechobee Boulevard near West Palm Beach was closed due to the virus, sending him to an open office a couple of miles away.

Filing an extension until October is an option, but tax accountant Chantelle Brown explained on WPTV's Facebook page that the IRS still wants money.

"It's important to remember that it's just an extension of time to file and not necessarily an extension of time to pay," said Brown, who works for A Class Tax Solutions in West Palm Beach.

Bill Bullock is like many last-minute filers. He owes money and lost his job this year.

"How could it not be a tough year for a lot of people? I had a job, part-time and all the part-timers got laid off," said Bullock.

Unemployment is still high in the area, and experts say there are options for those who owe and may not be able to pay now.

"I would suggest once you know what you owe, when your return is filed, that you immediately request an installment plan," said Brown.

If you have already filed and are already looking to next year, keep in mind that unemployment benefits will be taxable along with early 401K withdrawals. However, there will be no federal penalty for early withdrawal because of the pandemic.