thoughtcatalog.com

With April comes spring and tax time.

In 2018, you'll need to file by April 17 or face fees. But don't sweat too much if you can't afford to pay all your taxes at once. The Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, is often willing to work with you to help you pay your taxes without being penalized. That said, it's best not to avoid filing or paying. This bill won't just go away, and you'll accrue more and more late fees and interest the longer you let it sit.

Option 1: Pay by credit card or get a personal loan

The IRS allows several types of payment for your taxes, including a credit card. This isn't the best solution overall. You're essentially trading debt for another type. But if your situation is that you are able to pay, but don't have all the funds right now, a credit card is probably your fastest solution. (Unless your tax amount is too much for your card, then you'll need to consider another option.)

Pay your taxes with your card, and then pay off as much of the balance as you can until you're paid again. You'll still accrue interest on your card, but this amount might be lower than what the IRS would charge if you failed to pay or entered into an installment plan. The same may go for a personal loan from your local bank.

The stress of tax season can be overwhelming, but there are a few options to consider undsgn.com

Option 2: Set up an installment plan

As long as you meet certain requirements, you can set up an installment plan with the IRS to pay over time. And depending on how much you owe, you can even apply without having to talk to a person. If your bill is less than $50,000 in individual income tax, penalties and interest, you can apply for an installment plan online. You can also apply with federal form 9465. If you owe more than $50,000, you'll have to talk to an IRS agent to find out your next steps.

You'll be charged associated fees for entering into a plan, but these will be less if you sign up online. And even less if you agree to direct debit each month. You have to file all your tax returns before you apply for an installment plan. You'll usually be notified within 30 days if you've been accepted.

If it were only so simple... assets.pcmag.com

Option 3: Ask for additional time

Based on your particular circumstances, you might be granted additional time to pay in full. You can make a request like this online, by calling, or by talking with an IRS agent in person. If you're insolvent or unable to pay due to circumstances beyond your control (like unemployment or disability), the IRS is willing to work with you on your payments. You might be eligible for an officer in compromise, which will let you pay less than the actual amount you owe. These options are completely dependent on your unique situation and you'll be able to determine your next steps by communicating with the IRS.

Taxes are never fun, but they don't have to be a financial strain. The IRS has several payment and financing options if you're unable to pay in full by April 17. In extreme situations, you can talk to an IRS agent about reducing the amount you owe or setting up a payment plan. The key is: don't let your taxes sit. If you fail to file by the deadline, your interest and late fee penalties will be more than if you do file and request a different financing option.

Subscribe to PayPath Newsletter
PayPath
Follow Us on

It's easy to forget that the presidency of the United States is a government job just like any other–in that it comes with a stipulated salary and benefits.

But regardless of their bombastic rhetoric or self-serious public image, politicians are like all other government employees. The president, vice president, and legislators earn an annual income from the government in exchange for their duties, which include: executing/circumventing the law, upholding/withholding the civil liberties of American citizens, and legislating/sabotaging how societal institutions meet the needs of citizens, from healthcare to education.

If you've ever wondered what American politicians earn for all their hard work arguing across the aisle and starting Twitter feuds, look no further:

Keep reading Show less

Maybe you've had a high stress occupation before, like social work or stock trading, and fell victim to the high burnout rate of these kinds of jobs.

Or maybe you're just starting your career, and looking for something that won't take over your life but will still provide you with a good living. Whatever reason you have for looking for a high paying, low-stress job, you've come to the right place. We've compiled a list of the top 5 jobs that promise a solid paycheck without taking too much out of you.

Keep reading Show less

What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.

Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.

Federally backed mortgages include:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.

Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.

Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.

Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.

At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.

Possible Repayment Options:

You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.

Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.

For example:

Regular payment: $1000 per month

Reduced payment: $500 per month

Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)

Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.

Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.

The Next Steps:

Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.

Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • What fees are associated with the forbearance?
  • What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
  • Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?

If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.


For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.