There have been enough dates thrown around lately that I thought it would be worth it this week to look at timing when it comes to taxes.
As most are probably aware, the IRS has pushed the federal tax filing deadline back one month to May 17. I know for many this feels like some sort of reprieve because you get more time to do a task you don’t want to do, but it doesn’t really offer anything more than time. In fact, I would only counsel people to still get their taxes done as soon as possible, act as if April 15 is still the deadline, and then you can start looking toward next year when there will again be more new tax rules to navigate.
Leaving my quick preaching aside, there are actually times when April 15th is still critical in reality. For instance, if you are someone who makes estimated quarterly tax payments, the first of those will still be due on April 15th as that date did not get pushed back with the filing deadline. (You can read a little more about there here).
It is also worth keeping in mind that the IRS deadline only affects your federal taxes. Your state deadline may still be different. Most states have offered some sort of delay, as well, but it is worth checking on that and making sure before you make a mistake that means your state return is late. You can do that by clicking here.
You should keep in mind that the tax filing delay was not only implemented by the IRS as a gift to the taxpayers. The latest stimulus package contained multiple changes that the agency had to implement, so the delay gives it some time to figure that all out. It also does not exactly help that at the same point the IRS received the responsibility of distributing individual stimulus payments, and this all just leads to a couple more issues with timing.
First, I know many people are still eager for information about when they will receive that individual payment. There is no magic information source about that. The best thing to do is to consult the IRS’s Get My Payment website - www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment - and find where you stand. Second, the agency is even now still working through some returns from the 2019 tax year, displaying how difficult pandemic-ravaged 2020 was for it. That means some may need to be preparing themselves to have their tax refund take a little longer to receive than usual.
Hmm, it’s almost like that is another reason to not delay filing your taxes.
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