Daylight Saving Time
What does this have to do with taxes? Well, you’d be surprised.
Here in the United States, we have four time zones: Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific. Living in Arizona, we are one of the few places that does NOT observe Daylight Saving Time. Most cities and towns in Arizona stay on Mountain Standard time all year long.
In the Spring, the rest of the country “Springs Forward” and they advance their clocks one hour, changing their clocks from 8am to 9am; therefore, experiencing more daylight in the evening hours. Since the clocks in most of Arizona remain unchanged, we effectively “fall back” an hour. We are neighbors to California and I usually explain to others that during Daylight Saving Time (DST) we are now on Pacific Time.
Pacific time is three hours behind Eastern time and this makes a difference when we are trying to contact businesses located east of us. When it is 8am in Phoenix, it is already 11am in New York and Washington, DC. When it is 8am in Phoenix, it is already 10am in Chicago and St Louis. And when it is 8am in Phoenix, it is already 9am in Denver and Las Vegas. Wait a minute, Phoenix and Denver are both in the Mountain Time Zone, but when it is DST, Denver is Mountain DAYLIGHT Time and Phoenix is MOUNTAIN STANDARD Time. And now when it is 8am in Phoenix, it is 8am in Los Angeles and San Diego.
The Internal Revenue Service has always been aware of the differences in our time zones. That is why their Customer Service offices are open past 5pm, but they are not open 24/7.
Now that they have developed a “modernized” electronic filing process, the IRS processes our e-filed tax returns continuously around the clock, but what happens on April 15th? A return filed after midnight will be considered LATE. AH! But which midnight do I pay attention to? My midnight or IRS midnight?
March 15th is and important date for businesses returns. Corporation returns are due March 15th. Like an individual, if a corporation cannot file their return by the due date, they can request an extension of time to file. But this request must be filed before midnight on March 15th.
When it comes to these time sensitive and very important deadlines, I don’t wait until the last possible minute. I want to file at least one day before. If I can’t be one day early, I want to get as much as I possibly can get done before 6pm on that deadline night.
Everyone else who waits until the last possible minute is risking a bottleneck of electronic bandwidth. And it you are delayed by this bottleneck, your tax return or your request for more time could be delayed.
Uncle Sam doesn’t just want you — Uncle Sam wants your money. And when you owe money and you pay that money late, Uncle Sam wants even more money.
So watch that clock. Time is a-ticking and it waits for no man.