Monday, April 15th, 2019 is the last day for many items associated with Federal and State Taxes. By the 15th, your Individual Tax Returns are due for tax year 2018 or your Individual Tax Return Extension Form is due for tax year 2018, and it is also the last day you can make a 2018 IRA Contribution. There are many things you can do to get past this taxing time and get on with enjoying your refund!
If you aren’t able to complete your federal filings by the 2019 deadline, you can file for an extension. By filing an extension, you can avoid potential late-filing or late payment penalties and will have until October 15th, 2019 to complete your returns. According to TurboTax.intuit.com, “It’s important to keep in mind an extension only pushes back the due date for the filing of your tax documents. It does not give you extra time to pay on any taxes you may owe. If you believe you will owe money this year, you’ll need to estimate the amount after filing for an extension and make a payment by the April deadline.”
If you are ready to go ahead and file your income tax returns, there are several things you can do to make the process easier and faster. While you can still mail in your tax return, it will take six to eight weeks to process your return. If you file online, you should receive your refund within three weeks and if you choose to have your refund directly deposited, you can receive it even faster. Several sites offer free filing for 1040EZ returns online, and you can find more information online at IRS.gov. You could reduce your taxable income through contributions to an IRA or a HSA. You can also change your filing status. While most married couples file jointly, you could choose “Married Filing Separately” status instead. It may take a little bit more time to prepare, but you may make up for it with your refund check. “Head of Household” filing status is often overlooked as well, and can be used by taxpayers if you provide more than half of your parent’s financial support, according to TurboTax.intuit.com.
If you have questions about these changes and deductions, you can reach out to a professional. There are many walk-in style tax centers or you can work with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). The great thing about working with a CPA is that they are required to attend continuing education to maintain their credentials as well as run their business according to specific standards. You also are able to get help planning for next year’s tax season, help with your small business income, help planning for retirement or children’s education, and much more. But most of all, CPA’s and other professionals can save you time and worry while helping you maximize deductions and increase your refund.
After you have filed your taxes, you can track your federal refund online or through the “IRS2Go” app available from Google Play, Amazon, or the Apple App store in English and Spanish. By using the app, you can check your refund status, make a payment, get free tax help, as well as help you stay connected and receive IRS Tax Tips and more. Most electronically filed IRS Federal refunds are issued within 21 days, although there are many reasons it could take longer.
More information including where to file for free can be found at IRS.gov.