Consumer Alert: It’s tax day and you can’t pay? Here’s what you should do.

[anvplayer video=”5030015″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — This consumer alert takes a look at time and the taxman. Monday is the day. Your taxes are due by midnight. And if you’re not ready, you have options. Uncle Sam gave us another month to file our taxes because of the pandemic’s financial fallout. And for many of us, filing this year is especially complicated.

For example, if you didn’t get your stimulus check, you needed to file for a recovery rebate credit.

And if you got unemployment benefits, there are all those tax issues to tackle. I’ll get to that in few paragraphs. But if you just ran out of time, you can file for an extension Monday. That’s form 4868.

But keep in mind, filing for an extension does not give you more time to pay the taxes you owe. If you fail to pay on Monday, Uncle Sam will charge you penalties and interest. You should immediately apply for a payment plan online.

Now let’s talk about unemployment. If you collected it, the feds are giving you a tax break. You don’t have to pay federal taxes on the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits. So you may remember when you filed for unemployment, you had the choice to have taxes taken out first. That’s always the wise decision because you don’t want financially painful surprises come tax time. But in the latest stimulus package, the feds gave you that tax break. That means, if you got federal taxes taken out of your unemployment benefits, you should get a refund. The IRS started sending out those refunds this week for single tax filers. Married folks filing jointly have to wait. But all of you should have your money before summer’s end.

As for your state taxes, New York is not giving the unemployed a tax break. You still will have to pay taxes on those benefits. Members of the State Senate and Assembly have proposed measures that would give you a break on your state income taxes. Under those bills, you would not have to pay state taxes on the first $10,200. There’s not been much movement on those measures, so you still owe state taxes on your unemployment benefits.

If you can’t pay those state taxes, take these three steps:

  • File your tax return.
  • Pay what you can to reduce your penalties and interest.
  • Request an IPA, an installment payment agreement.

And that’s your consumer alert.