Tax season is like a roller coaster ride. It’s thrilling for some, terrifying for others, and there’s always that one person who gets off the ride and immediately wants to get back on. But whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a scaredy-cat, there’s no denying that tax season can be a bit of a wild ride. So buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the top 5 tips and deadlines for the 2024 tax season.
The Countdown to April 15th
The tax filing deadline is like the final boss in a video game. It’s intimidating, it’s challenging, and it’s always lurking in the back of your mind. For federal tax returns, this boss battle takes place on April 15th each year. But if April 15th falls on a weekend or holiday, the IRS kindly gives you a few extra days to prepare for the fight. The deadline will be extended until the next business day.
The Magic of Form 4868
If you’re not ready to face the final boss by the deadline, don’t worry. The IRS has a cheat code: Form 4868. This magical form grants you an additional six months to file your return. But remember, this cheat code doesn’t extend the deadline for paying any taxes owed. It’s like getting extra time to finish a test, but you still have to turn it in at the end.
The Price of Procrastination
If you miss the tax-filing deadline without requesting an extension, you’ll have to face the consequences. The failure-to-file penalty is like a monthly subscription fee for procrastinators. It equals five percent of your unpaid taxes per month (or partial month) up to a maximum of 25%. But if you don’t owe any unpaid taxes and fail to file within three years after April 15th, then you’re off the hook. There’s no failure-to-file penalty since there’s nothing outstanding regarding taxation.
The Race for Refunds
If you’re due a refund and miss the filing deadline, it’s not game over. You have up to three years from April 15th (the original due date) to claim your prize. So even if you’re a little late to the party, you might still be able to get your hands on that sweet, sweet refund.
The Art of Extensions and Estimated Payments
While extensions do grant extra time for taxpayers who can’t meet the April 15th deadline, they don’t extend the time for which taxes owed must be paid. It’s like getting an extension on a credit card payment. You still have to pay eventually, but you get a little more time to gather the funds.
In short, it’s always best to file your taxes on time to avoid penalties and interest fees. But if you miss the tax-filing deadline, don’t panic! With proper planning and understanding of deadlines, you can navigate the wild ride of tax season with ease.
Q: Can I still file taxes if I missed the deadline? A: Absolutely! You can still file your tax return even if you missed the deadline. However, be aware that there may be penalties for late filings or payments, depending on your situation.
Q: What happens if I can’t pay my taxes by the deadline? A: Don’t panic! If you owe taxes but can’t afford to pay them by the deadline, there are options available. You can apply for an installment agreement with the IRS or negotiate with the IRS to settle your tax debt for less than what you owe.
Q: How do extensions work when filing taxes? A: If you need more time to prepare and file your tax return, you can request an extension from the IRS using Form 4868. This gives you six extra months to complete your federal income tax return. However, it doesn’t extend the deadline for paying any outstanding balances owed.