When’s Tax Day 2024? Mark Your Calendar Now!

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Written By kevin

A financial strategist with a knack for demystifying taxes and insurance, Kevin distills complex concepts into actionable advice.

The 2024 tax filing season is fast approaching. For most taxpayers, April 15, 2024, is Tax Day—the deadline to file your 2023 federal income tax return and pay any taxes owed. Mark your calendars and read on to learn key dates and recommendations to avoid penalties and ensure your 2023 return is filed accurately.

When can I file my 2023 return?

The IRS will begin accepting and processing 2023 tax-year returns on January 29, 2024. While you can file any time after this date, filing early, accurately, and electronically can help ensure a smooth tax season.

What is the deadline to file and pay taxes?

For most taxpayers, Tax Day 2024 falls on April 15. This includes:

  • Filing your 2023 federal income tax return
  • Paying any federal taxes owed for 2023
  • Requesting an automatic six-month extension (more details below)

Two exceptions – taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts have until April 17, 2024 due to local holiday observances.

What If I Need More Time?

You can easily request an automatic six-month extension to file your federal income tax return by April 15, 2024, using IRS Free File or filing a paper Form 4868. This will extend your federal tax filing deadline to October 16, 2024.

However, even with an extension, you still need to pay any federal taxes owed by April 15 to avoid penalties and interest. The extension gives you more time to file, not more time to pay.

Estimated Tax Payments

April 15, 2024, is also the deadline for making your first 2024 estimated tax payment for self-employed taxpayers or other taxpayers who need to pay quarterly. Use Form 1040-ES and see Pub 505 for help determining if you need to make estimated payments to avoid penalties.

Claim Tax Refunds Sooner

The IRS encourages e-filing your return and selecting direct deposit to get refunds faster—typically within 21 days when combined versus 4-6 weeks by mail. The IRS will begin issuing most refunds associated with 2023 returns in early February 2024 for accurate, electronically filed returns.

Free Tax Preparation If Eligible

Taxpayers under certain income limits can file for free through the IRS Free File program or by visiting a local VITA or TCE site for in-person help preparing their returns. These free options are available starting in January 2024.

Review Key Tips to Avoid Errors

Double check your Social Security numbers, math calculations, routing, and account numbers for refund direct deposits, and make sure that you qualify for any credits or deductions claimed. Filing an accurate return from the start avoids delays in receiving refunds or potential IRS correspondence.

See the IRS website or call for additional guidance if needed to ensure you file correctly. With some preparation and planning, you’ll be ready for a smooth 2024 tax season!

Avoiding Common Tax Return Errors

Even with the best intentions, mistakes happen. As you prepare your 2023 tax return this year, be vigilant to avoid common errors that could delay your refund or require additional IRS follow-up.

1. Incorrect Personal Information

Be extra careful that you enter all Social Security numbers, first and last names, and dates of birth for yourself, your spouse, and dependents exactly as they appear on official documents. Even small typos can pause processing your return.

2. Math Miscalculations

With all the forms, schedules, deductions, and credits, it’s easy to make a math error. Double- and triple-check all your calculations!

3. Incorrect Filing Status

Choose carefully between options like single, married, filing jointly or separately, and head of household. Pick the incorrect marital or dependency status, and you could owe additional tax plus penalties.

4. Missing Forms

If you have income reported on Form W-2 or 1099, those forms are expected to be attached or reconciled properly on your return. Failing to include them may trigger an IRS notice.

5. Ineligible Dependents

Listing someone incorrectly as your dependent can be a common mistake. Ensure anyone you claim meets all eligibility criteria.

See the IRS guide on dependents and the Qualifying Child Rules.

Request a Filing Extension by Tax Day

Even the most organized filers can need more time to submit their tax returns. If April 15 is approaching and you don’t think you’ll make the deadline, filing an extension is easy and gives you until October 16, 2024, to send your paperwork.

Here are some key points about extensions:

  • Gives additional 6 months to file return
  • Request using IRS Free File or Form 4868
  • Must still pay taxes owed by April 15 to avoid penalties
  • Extends federal return deadline, but check on state filing extensions

Reasons taxpayers might file an extension include:

  • Waiting on missing tax statements
  • Recent financial changes require more time
  • Illness, family emergencies, or natural disasters impacted ability to file
  • Hiring a tax professional for help requires additional time

Filing an extension is very straightforward. But it only extends the filing deadline; you still need to estimate taxes owed and pay that amount by Tax Day to avoid penalties. An extension also gives you more time to organize, file accurately, and avoid mistakes.

Talk to a tax professional or see the IRS website for additional guidance on extensions. With some advanced planning, you can file stress-free by October.

Estimated Tax Payments: Who Needs to Make Them?

Not everyone is required to make estimated tax payments throughout the year. Typically, self-employed taxpayers and those with investment income need to pay quarterly installments to stay current on owed taxes. Reasons you might need to pay estimated taxes include:

Self-Employment Income

When you work for yourself, no taxes are withheld from payments received. Estimated taxes help avoid a large balance due on your tax return.

Investment or Rental Income

If you earn interest, dividends, capital gains, or rental income, estimated payments might be required since standard withholding doesn’t apply.

Owe $1,000+ Balance Each Year

Generally, estimated payments are expected if you will owe $1,000 or more on your tax return, above withholding and credits. This ensures taxes are paid evenly throughout the year.

Use Form 1040-ES and IRS Direct Pay to pay estimated taxes. Quarterly due dates are April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15. See Pub 505 for help determining if estimated payments apply to your situation.

Staying current on estimated tax payments can prevent a large balance due on your tax return and avoid penalties for underpayment. Reach out to a tax professional or the IRS with any questions.

Key Resources for Tax Help

The tax code contains complex rules spanning thousands of pages that confuse even experts. If you need assistance, many free and low-cost resources are available:

IRS Website and Helplines

The IRS provides abundant online tools and helplines to address tax questions. See IRS.gov and call 800-829-1040.

In-Person Tax Help

Qualifying individuals can visit IRS VITA/TCE sites for free in-person help filing returns. These sites have specialists for seniors, non-English speakers, and people with disabilities.

Tax Professional Assistance

Consider hiring a CPA, Enrolled Agent, tax attorney, or other qualified tax professional for guidance. Fees vary but can provide expert advice and peace of mind.

Don’t let taxes trip you up or leave money on the table. These resources help taxpayers file complete, accurate returns and identify available deductions and credits. Consult the IRS or a professional if you need support navigating tax rules this filing season.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Get answers to some of the top questions taxpayers have about deadlines, extensions, estimated payments, and more for the 2024 filing season.

When does the 2024 tax season open for accepting returns?

The 2024 filing season begins on January 29, 2024. This is when the IRS will start accepting and processing 2023 federal income tax returns.

What is the deadline for filing my 2023 taxes?

For most taxpayers, the 2023 tax return filing and payment deadline is April 15, 2024. Exceptions are Maine and Massachusetts residents who have until April 17, 2024 due to local holidays.

How do I get a tax filing extension?

To extend your federal tax return deadline six months to October 16, 2024, file an extension request by April 15, 2024 using IRS Free File or Form 4868.

Do I need to make 2024 estimated tax payments?

You typically need to make estimated payments if you’ll owe $1,000+ in taxes for 2024 above withholding and credits. Use Form 1040-ES and see Pub 505 for guidance.

Categories Tax