When is the tax deadline for 2019?

The deadline to file for taxes in the United States is Monday, April 15, 2019.  

How can I get an extension on my taxes?

Need more time to complete your taxes? If you find yourself unavailable to file your taxes by the April 15 deadline, you’ll need to file an extension in order to prevent getting hit with any late fees or penalties. This extension will give you an extra six months to file your taxes. This extension only gives you time to file - it does not offer more time to pay anything you may owe.

Step 1: Estimate your tax liability

You can estimate the tax you owe by using the tax tables that are on the instructions to your tax return. If you have a tax credit available then don't forget to subtract the credit from the tax you owe. It is crucial to be as accurate as possible when you send in your payment with your extension request. If you don’t pay enough you may get charged interest and other possible penalties.

Step 2: Download and complete Form 4868

Form 4868 allows you to obtain an extra six-month extension to file your taxes. It takes a couple of minutes to fill out the form, it only requires your name, address, and Social Security number.

Step 3: Mail in Form 4868

Mail in the form to the appropriate IRS address corresponding to you. It is important to mail in the extension by the original deadline.

Can I file my taxes for free?

Yes! There are many sites that allow you to file your taxes for free. If your gross income is $66,000 or less you can file through the following sites for free: ezTaxReturn.com and Taxslayer. There are others that offer Active Military free filing through TaxAct, FreeTaxUSA, and H&R Block. If your gross income is more than $66,000, you will have to go through the IRS site to free fill through their Fillable Forms.

What do I need to file my taxes?

Whether you go see a tax specialist or prepare your taxes from the comfort of your home, this checklist from H&R Block is key to know that you are prepared to file. You’ll need to have everything from your personal information to all sources of income along with all deductions.

Can I file without a W2?

All employers have a deadline to provide W-2 forms to their employees and it is January 31, 2019. There are many cases where taxpayers don't receive their forms due to many reasons. Most commonly, the business closes its doors and does not pay for their former employees to receive W-2s.

At this point, you will have to attempt to get in contact with the company leadership and find out if the W-2s were sent out at all. Even if the company is out of business they can usually arrange for a W-2 to be sent from the former payroll provider.

That still didn't go your way? Try to get your W-2 from the IRS. In rare cases, the IRS may have received your tax information before you. Even if your W-2 doesn't reach you in time you still have to file before the April deadline unless you ask for an extension.

What is a W-4 form?

According to TurboTax, a W-4 also known as Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate is a form you complete to let your employer know how much money to withhold from your paycheck for federal taxes. Accurately, filling out this form can put more money in your pocket throughout the year because you're not overpaying on your taxes but if you complete the form incorrectly there is a high possibility you will have a balance due at the end of tax time.  

Who can I claim as a dependent?

A dependent is someone you support by providing half of the person’s total support for the year including food, shelter, etc.

Claiming a dependent:

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. national or a resident alien

  • Must have a social security number, taxpayer identification number or adoption taxpayer identification number.

  • Dependents can have their own tax returns, even if they are married but they cannot file a joint tax return.

Claiming a child:

  • The child has to be living with you for at least half of the year.

  • Have to be related (son, daughter, stepbrother/sister, foster child, etc.)

  • The child must be 18 or younger at the end of the year. Unless the child has attended school full-time for at least five months in that year and is 24 or younger, you can claim them.

Claiming other relatives and unrelated persons:

  • The person cannot have a gross income that year over $4,150. (That is the amount for 2018 return - it may vary by years)

  • This person cannot be claimed by another person.

  • Must be related or lived with you all year as a household member

Get your tax questions answered

Tax deductible vs tax credit

What is a tax deduction?

A tax deduction comes from a tax-deductible expenditure or exception. A tax deduction is subtracted from your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) which is your new taxable income.

What is tax credit?

A tax credit is a little different than a tax-deductible because they are subtracted from your tax liability instead of your taxable income.

For example:

Your AGI is $100,000 in one year the tax deduction is $10,000 so your new taxable income is $90,000.

Hypothetically speaking, if the tax rate was 20% your tax due would $18,000.


Which would you rather...?

Tax Deductible Tax Credit

AGI

$100,000

$100,000

Minus tax deduction

($10,000)

Taxable income

$90,000

$100,000

Tax rate*

20%

20%

Calculated tax

$18,000

$20,000

Minus tax credit

($10,000)

Tax due

$18,000

$10,000

Can I get a tax refund advanced?

This is also known as a tax refund loan, in most instances, you will receive the loan within 24 hours. The loan is secured by your expected tax refund. The loan amount is deducted from your refund after it is issued.

The lender will only lend you the money if your taxes are prepared by that specific company which might come with some tax preparation fees. Your expected refund must be of a certain amount for the lender to proceed with a refund loan.

How can I check my refund status?

Checking your refund status is quite simple. By going onto the IRS website, you’ll need your social security number or ITIN, your filing status and your exact refund amount.

Do you want to check from your phone? Downloading the IRS2Go app.

The app gives you access to your refund status within 24 hours after your e-filed return has been received by the IRS. If you mailed in your paper return then it will be available about four weeks after. With the app, you also have access to make a payment if necessary.

What if I can't pay right away?

There are many cases where individuals can't pay their taxes in full. You should file your taxes and pay as much as you can in order to avoid penalties and interest charges. The IRS has payment options such as short-term extensions to pay, an installment agreement, an offer in compromise or temporarily delay collections by reporting you account “currently not collectible until able to pay.”

What if I can't pay my installment agreement?

There are different options available if you can't manage to make your installment payments. Options include reducing the monthly payment to accommodate your current financial standing. The IRS may even ask you to provide proof of your financial situation to support your needs.

4 reasons to file early

File early, receive refund early

It is very common to file early in order to receive your refund quicker. Being able to file online has made the process more efficient and your refund gets direct deposited into your bank account.

Extra time to pay

Filing early will give you more time to pay the balance you owe the IRS before the deadline in April. Arranging your payments month to month might be easier than one big chunk of money leaving your bank account.

No need for a tax extension

There is no need to go through the process of filling for an extension if you file early. It may take quite a bit of time to put any and all documentation together so filing early is key. If you do happen to file an extension you have to pay your balance in full or else the IRS will charge you penalties and interest on the outstanding balance.

Prevent tax return identity theft

There are cases of fraudulent tax return every year, it is important to file early because tax thefts will file your taxes just to take the tax return and pocket that money. These scams usually occur early in the tax season because many they know that many taxpayers wait until it is closer to the deadline. Always remember to keep your Social Security number save and private.