April 12, 2024

U.S. tax returns are due in two weeks, but millions of people have some extra time to file their returns

New York

If you have not yet filed your 2023 income tax return, you have until April 15 to do so. Unless, for example, you’re among the millions of people who, for various reasons, will get more time to file later this year.

This also applies to those who submit an application an automatic six-month extension by April 15. Taxpayers who choose this option do not have to provide the IRS with any explanation as to why they want an extension. But Remember, that extension just gives you more time to file your federal income tax return. You still need to pay all your 2023 taxes by the April 15 deadline. Otherwise you risk a fine for non-payment. So, if you fall into this group and think you still owe last year’s IRS money, estimate how much and send your payment before the 15th.

The next big group of people who don’t have to file a return before tax day are those who live or do business in a place that has been declared a federal disaster area in 2023. If you fall into this group, you will automatically receive a file extension and an extension to pay what you owe without any action being required. However, specific deadlines vary by location, so check this list if you think you may be affected.

And the last group of people with more time are those living in Maine and Massachusetts, where April 15 celebrates Patriots’ Day. For the approximately 4.4 million households in those states, the tax filing and payment deadline will be April 17. applies to those living in Washington, DC, due to the District’s Emancipation Day celebration on April 16.

The tax authorities have already done that received more than 80 million income tax returns for 2023, according to the latest figures released Friday. But that is only about half of the total returns it expects to receive.

If your return is in between, no matter what your deadline is, here are a few other things to keep in mind as you prepare your 2023 taxes.

There are some very simple things to keep in mind so that your return is processed by the IRS error-free and quickly.

Check your return from last year, among other things. It’s a good reminder of all the documents you need for this year’s tax return. And add up all the big changes that happened in your life in 2023 that could impact your overall tax situation (e.g. married or divorced, had a new baby, sold a property, minted Bitcoin, etc.) .

“Taxpayers should gather all important documents, including Forms W-2 and 1099, as well as any supporting paperwork for tax deductions or credits such as education credits or mortgage interest payments. Additionally, it is advisable to make the prior year’s tax returns accessible as this may be required,” the IRS advises.

And before you file your return, make sure everything from the spelling of your name, your Social Security number, and your filing status is correct, as well as your bank routing and account numbers if you choose to receive a refund via direct deposit.

Remember all the talk in Congress about a bipartisan tax bill that would include a provision to expand the child tax credit for 2023 for many families? Well, that has yet to become a reality and perhaps not anytime soon, if at all.

Should something ultimately happen, including a retroactive expansion of the credit, the IRS has said it would make the change to the 2023 tax returns of those who qualify and have already filed.

While 2023 may be in the rearview mirror, you may still be able to take a quick deduction before April 15 to help reduce your 2023 tax liability.

If you haven’t maximized your contributions to a traditional IRA. For 2023, you may contribute a maximum of €6,500 (or €7,500 if you were 50 years or older). These contributions may also be deductible if you do not have access to a workplace retirement plan and your income falls below a certain threshold. If you do have access to a workplace pension scheme, you can get a partial deduction, again depending on your income.

Here’s the nitty-gritty breakdown of those income thresholds.

The Justice Department last week reiterated what the IRS has often said: Avoid using “unscrupulous” tax preparers. The DOJ noted in a news release that if you let a scammer prepare your return, you could be saddled with penalties and interest on unpaid taxes.

One telltale sign you’re dealing with a scammer? They promise you excessive refunds that seem too good to be true, said Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Hubber of the DOJ’s Tax Division. “If your tax preparer asks you to sign a blank return, refuses to sign your return as a preparer, or does not give you a copy of your return, check the IRS website to make sure you are not setting yourself up for trouble ,” says Hubber. said.

The IRS further warns taxpayers not to fall for unlawful tax avoidance schemes or a number of other scams by tax preparers and tax advisors.

According to IRS statistics, the average refund as of March 22 was $3,081.

The majority of tax filers receive a refund from the IRS each year and typically receive their money within 21 days of filing. If you’re expecting a refund and haven’t done so yet, you can track its progress through the IRS’s Where’s My Refund tool.

You may also owe an old refund. If you have not filed a tax return for 2020, you have until May 17 to do so. According to the IRS, more than $1 billion in refunds are awaiting those who didn’t file that first tax year of the pandemic. Average estimated refund amounts vary by state (see the IRS table here), but range from a low of $761 in Idaho to a high of $1,031 in Pennsylvania.

In addition to a refund, the IRS further notes that low- and moderate-income people may also qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC was worth as much as $6,660 in 2020 for people with qualifying children.

If you don’t file your 2020 tax return by May 17, you will lose any money you owe.

And if you do file a return and are entitled to a refund, it may be withheld if you have yet to file your 2021 or 2022 returns. The agency also notes that “any 2020 refund amount will be applied to amounts still owed to the IRS or a state tax authority and may be used to offset unpaid child support or other delinquent federal debts, such as student loans.”

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