Tax Day: Local tax preparer warns about penalties for not filing tax returns

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Tax Day is Monday, May 17, and a local tax preparer says there are big penalties for not filing your taxes.

William Sharpe, president of Total Income Tax in Peoria, said they have been very busy with some surprises along the way.

“This has definitely been the craziest tax season on the heels of last year which was wild as well,” he said.

Sharpe said because of the pandemic, there are many retroactive tax changes that complicate 2020 tax returns. He said his employees become experts on individual topics in order to tackle them all.

“There were tax changes that came up in the middle of tax season that affected a lot of tax returns, frankly for people who have already filed, so that’s a big thing,” he said.

The IRS waived taxes on the first $10,200 of unemployment. Sharpe said many clients on unemployment did not have any taxes withheld, so having to pay up has caught some clients off-guard. However, he recommends filing taxes even if you can’t pay right away.

“The reality is there’s a penalty for each. There’s a penalty for not filing and there’s a penalty for not paying, and the penalty for not filing is about 10 times as severe as not paying, so even if you don’t have the money, file or file an extension,” Sharpe said.

Sharpe said his office will continue to accept clients past Tax Day, stressing the most important thing – is making sure they get filed.

Tax Day is traditionally on April 15.

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