As we step into 2024, the tax season is imminent. Understanding key deadlines to file taxes is critical for avoiding penalties and ensuring refunds. This comprehensive guide examines the crucial 2024 tax due dates, the risks of late filing, and expert tips for a smooth process.
When are 2024 taxes due?
Mark these pivotal deadlines on your calendar:
April 15, 2024
This is the federal income tax filing and payment deadline for filing your 2023 returns. All taxpayers must submit returns and pay owed taxes by this date to dodge failure-to-file and failure-to-pay penalties.
For instance, Maria, an accountant, ensures filing her personal tax return and settling owed taxes by April 15th annually.
June 15, 2024
If you are self-employed or have other income without withholding taxes, this is the deadline for submitting estimated quarterly tax payments. Missing this can lead to underpayment penalties.
Say Joey earns rental income from his condo investment. He calendars June 15th to remember making quarterly estimated payments.
October 16, 2024
For taxpayers who obtain filing extensions, this is the deadline for sending completed returns without further late penalties. However, an extension offers more time to file only, not extra time to pay taxes owed.
For example, if Maria gets an extension for her business taxes, she would still need to pay all owed taxes by April 15th and submit final returns by October 16th.
Why Timely Tax Filing Matters
Delaying tax filing can spur fees plus lost refunds and credits.
The IRS levies failure-to-file penalties of 5% of unpaid taxes monthly, up to 25%. It also imposes up to a 0.5% monthly failure-to-pay penalty. These can add up quickly.
Postponing filing beyond three years forfeits your tax refund. The IRS issued $1.5 billion in unclaimed 2018 refunds, now expired.
Filing tardily can shortchange you on credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). These help offset taxes owed.
Expert Filing Tips
Follow these best practices for smooth sailing:
Commence organizing records like W2s, 1099s, and donation receipts in January. This gives ample prep time.
Use Reputable Software
Trusted tax prep software like TurboTax streamlines filing, does the math automatically, and lowers errors.
Seek Professional Help
For convoluted tax situations like self-employment, investing, or retirement drawdowns, consult a CPA or enrolled agent for tailored advice.
E-filing provides faster processing and refunds in 3 weeks or less, versus 4-6 weeks for paper filing.
Use Direct Deposit
Opting for direct deposit of refunds prevents lost or stolen checks and enables access in days rather than weeks.
Sidestep these all-too-common slipups:
Tardy returns risk penalties, interest, and expired refunds, as covered earlier.
Even innocent mistakes can trigger IRS correspondence and delays. Verify details like income, credits claimed, and bank routing numbers.
Not Filing At All
Around 20% of Americans are “ghost filers” who skip filing despite owing taxes. But the IRS eventually catches up, garnishing wages or levying penalties. It’s better to come clean now.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When are federal taxes due in 2024?
A: Federal income tax returns and payment for Tax Year 2023 are due on April 15, 2024. An automatic 6-month extension to file can be obtained by submitting Form 4868 by the original deadline. However, this only extends the filing deadline, not the payment deadline.
Q: What if I don’t file my taxes on time?
A: Failing to file on time can lead to penalties, interest charges, and even lost refunds if you wait too long (over 3 years). It’s always advisable to file on time, even if you owe taxes or cannot pay in full. The IRS offers flexible payment plans in such cases.
Q: How long will it take to get my tax refund in 2024?
A: If you e-file an accurate return, most refunds are issued within 21 calendar days of the IRS receiving your tax return. If you file a paper return, refunds can take 6 weeks or more to process. Using direct deposit slashes wait times versus paper checks.
The Bottom Line
Come April, tax season crunch time begins. By learning key due dates, filing electronically, and leveraging reputable software, you can conquer the process smoothly and efficiently. Act now to get a head start and avoid common pitfalls. With sound preparation, you can tackle taxes effectively and claim the maximum refund or credits available.