HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The clock is ticking to file federal income taxes.
The deadline was extended from April 15 to July 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Some folks may have procrastinated filing and are now wondering if they should file by paper or electronically.
Samantha Slapnik, owner of Liberty Tax Service in Carolina Forest, said electronic is the way to go.
Slapnik noted that because you aren’t sending your social security number, birthday or other personal information through the mail, it’s more secure. In addition, she said you’ll see your refund quicker.
“Electronic filing is always better especially when there’s a refund due,” Slapnik said. “Normally, I’ll say normal within the last couple of years, paper returns take anywhere from three to four months to process. Now, we’re probably looking at six to eight months because the IRS service centers are still closed, many of them closed for eight to ten weeks.”
If you choose to apply for the extension, you’ll have until October 15 to file, but it’s not an extension to pay, which means a penalty would apply if you don’t pay what you owe by July 15.
Slapnik also spoke about the penalties for not filing or not paying. There are two: failure to file and failure to pay if you owe.
If you aren’t ready to file and are wanting to apply for an extension, it’s a quick and easy process, Slapnik added. But it’s extremely important to note that this isn’t going to extend the payment option if you do owe.
If you are holding off on paying, that amount will continually grow.
“It’s dependent on the amount that’s due,” Slapnik said. “It’s a half to one percent, which accrues monthly so if you owe a lot it’s going to be a lot and it will keep growing, and the longer you take to pay it the more it will be.”
Slapnik said if you need help filing, they’re appointment only. However, they’re also taking drop-offs all day and have remote options.
Liberty Tax Service in Carolina Forest is located at 3713 Renee Drive.