Remember – Federal Income Tax Deadline Moved to May 17

As the traditional federal income tax filing due date approaches, please know that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year was automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17.

Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.

Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until Oct. 15 by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Filing Form 4868 gives taxpayers until October 15 to file their 2020 tax return but does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due. Taxpayers should pay their federal income tax due by May 17, 2021, to avoid interest and penalties.

The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds associated with e-filed returns are issued within 21 days.

Please note that this relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15. Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments. In general, estimated tax payments are made quarterly to the IRS by people whose income isn’t subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income. Most taxpayers automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer.

State tax returns

The federal tax filing deadline postponement to May 17, 2021, only applies to individual federal income returns and tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2021, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. Taxpayers also will need to file income tax returns in 42 states plus the District of Columbia. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. Both Minnesota and North Dakota have moved their respective deadlines to May 17 to match the federal date.

IRS.gov. (2021). Tax Day for individuals extended to May 17: Treasury, IRS extend filing and payment deadline. March 17, 2021.

 

Government Imposter Scams – Protect Yourself!

The ABA Foundation and the Federal Trade Commission recently released a new infographic highlighting the problem of government impostor scams in which scammers contact consumers often claiming that back taxes are owed, that jury duty was missed, or some other transgression, and threaten victims with jail time or fines. Some scammers claim that benefits such as Social Security or Medicare are being withheld for some reason or another in an attempt to trick victims into clicking on a link or handing over personal information.

The infographic below offers tips on how to spot the scam, as well as how to stop and report it. You can also download a printable copy by clicking here.

Government Imposter Scams infographic

Be on the Lookout for Utility-Related Scams

In response to the recent winter storms that have caused utility outages in the United States, the FTC is warning people to be aware of utility and weather-related scams.

If a scammer knows that electricity has been shut off in an area, they might call and offer you reimbursement for the time you were without power. However, they’ll claim to need your bank account number or other personal information in order to get you the money. Likewise, if your utility is still currently off, a scammer might claim to be able to restore service, but only if you send them money immediately.

If you are contacted by a suspected scammer, the FTC recommends:

  • Never call a number left in a voicemail, text or email. Instead, call the utility company directly using the number on the company’s website or your bill and verify if the message came from them.
  • Never give your banking information over the phone on an unknown number. Only pay your bills over the phone when you initiated the call to a number you know is legitimate.
  • If a caller insists that you pay with a gift card, cash reload card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency, it’s a scam.

Always be aware that scammers are continually looking to exploit any current situation in order to get your money, and bad weather is no exception. To report any scams you see, visit reportfraud.ftc.gov.

American Federal Employees Earn ‘Sales Star’ Recognition

Nineteen American Federal Bankers and employees have earned ‘Sales Star’ recognition from American Federal Bank for outstanding sales and sales referral performance in 2020.

A “Sales Star” is the highest honor of recognition an employee can earn at American Federal. American Federal’s 2020 Sales Stars are:

  • Cindy Ackley, Senior Associate, Moorhead
  • Betty Amundson, Associate, East Grand Forks
  • Adam Braunberger, Business Banker, Fargo Downtown
  • Ryan Bohnsack, Ag/Business Banker, Fargo South
  • Mark Eifert, Market President, Fergus Falls
  • Chris Grettum, Personal Banker, Fargo Downtown
  • Brooke Hassel, Associate Banker, Crookston
  • Nikki Hatzenbeller, Loan Origination Service Manager, Fargo Home Office
  • Jason Jaeger, Business Banker, Fargo Downtown
  • Justin Marquis, Ag/Business Banker, Fosston
  • Pat McShane, Market President, Fargo Downtown
  • Dustin Morris, Ag/Business Banker, Fergus Falls
  • Becky Myhra, Senior Associate, Wahpeton
  • Tiffany Ness, Loan Processor, Fargo Home Office
  • Brian Olson, Ag/Business Banker, Moorhead
  • Ryan Paulson, Ag/Business Banker, Fosston
  • Dan Paulson, Market President, Fosston
  • Alison Perez, Personal Banker, Grand Forks
  • Patrick Stadum, Associate Banker, Fargo Downtown

In recognition of their achievement, American Federal “Sales Star” employees and their families are traditionally invited to attend a weekend Sales Star Retreat, training seminar and awards banquet in their honor. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, this year a virtual event was held on Friday, January 29 to honor their accomplishments.

Diane Twete Joins Northwood Sales Office

Diane Twete of Northwood, North Dakota has been named Associate Banker and Office Manager at the Northwood Sales Office of American Federal Bank.

Diane has 28 years of community banking experience. Most recently, she was a Public Relations/New Development Specialist at Citizens State Bank in Northwood. Previously, she was the Branch Manager at Alerus Financial in Northwood.

Diane holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration Degree from the University of North Dakota. She is a graduate of Langdon High School.

Diane is active in her community.  In Northwood, she is the Municipal Airport Authority Clerk, a member of the Park Board, and the Fire Protection Clerk.