Tax Deadline Delayed

A little known holiday will give taxpayers three extra days to file their returns in 2011. The filing deadline is normally April 15, unless that day is a weekend or federal holiday, but this year the deadline has been pushed back to Monday, April 18. On April 15, a little known holiday celebrated in Washington, D.C. called, Emancipation Day, is moving back tax day, the Daytona-Beach News Journal reports. That holiday is normally celebrated on April 16, but because that’s a Saturday this year, it has been moved up a day early.

The start of the 2011 filing season began last month for the majority of taxpayers. Still, the tax cut changes Congress made recently means the Internal Revenue Service will need to update its processing systems for three provisions that were extended in the tax bill. The IRS said that taxpayers affected by those three would need to wait until mid to late February to file their tax returns. “Because of the late change in the law, tax services are having to reprogram, and the IRS is having to approve new forms,” says Lynn Balaban, a certified public accountant in Daytona Beach, who runs her own business. “That’s what’s causing the delay.”

A money saver passed in September called, the Section 179 deduction, allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment bought or financed this year. Small businesses, especially manufacturers that have equipment costs, including software and vehicles totaling less than $500,000, can write them off on the 2010 tax return if they’ve been used for business purposes more than 50 percent of the time. “The highest it had ever been was $250,000,” says Suzanne Forbes, managing member of the Daytona Beach office of James Moore & Co. “That’s a pretty big benefit.”

“If you need fixed asset equipment, I’d buy it,” says Brent Millikan, a certified public accountant who runs Brent Millikan & Co. in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Businesses are facing an onslaught of changes to health insurance rules, and one made earlier this year aims to save small businesses health costs. An employer who covers at least 50 percent of health care costs for some workers and has 25 or fewer full time equivalent employees, that on average make less than $50,000, could get a hefty tax credit. An eligible employer can get up to 35 percent of what they paid for health insurance back in subsidies. Accountants are in overdrive getting used to the new rules and the change in filing for some taxpayers. The late changes irked Balaban, who said politics got in the way of making tax filing easier for the IRS, accountants and taxpayers.