With tax time right around the corner, it’s always good to have the important tax deadlines marked on your calendar before you plan your next tax return. Soon those W-2s and 1099s from your employer, bank, and broker will start arriving. You’ll have a better idea if you are getting a refund or owe taxes. Then, you can file your tax return based on the date that works best for you.
Official eFile Date
Expecting a refund this year? The IRS has already announced a late start to the 2013 tax season. That could mean a delay of a week or two beyond the normal January 21 start date. Once the IRS releases an official date, I’ll update this information. That doesn’t mean you should put your tax return on hold until then. You might as well get that tax refund back as soon as possible, unless you like lending money to the government for free.
If you don’t eFile your taxes, this is the year to start. It’s a fast, convenient, and easy way to file your tax return online and you have several choices (I recommend Turbotax). This limits the possibility for errors. Plus you get that refund back much quicker with the option to directly deposit funds right into your savings account.
Now, if you owe taxes you might want to wait till the tax deadline to pay. Just keep the money owed in an interest bearing account until the due date and squeeze every last penny out of it before you send it off to the IRS.
Tax Day 2014
This year the tax deadline is Tuesday, April 15, 2014. The past couple years, late filers were given a day or two extra, thanks to the deadline falling on a weekend or holiday. Unfortunately, you procrastinators will actually have to get things done on time this year.
If you still snail mail your tax return, make sure everything is postmarked on or before the April 15 tax deadline. The IRS considers this filed in a timely manner. You may still want to send it a few days early just to avoid any lines at the post office.
Tax Extension Deadline
Think you might need to file a tax extension? Filing an extension will give you an extra six months to finish and file your tax returns. This puts the tax extension deadline on October 15. This doesn’t mean you have until then to pay your taxes. Any money owed is still due on April 15 with or without the extension.
For those who prefer not to pay their taxes, interest is charged on any unpaid amount. There is also the possibility of late payment penalties. Just a suggestion, get the money in on time or set up an alternative payment option with the IRS.
Check Your Refund
Once you file your taxes, the IRS has a mobile app to track your return. The IRS2go app is available for the Android and iPhone. It provides a safe, secure way to check your refund status. It also offers tax saving tips for the next tax year. For the non-app savvy, the IRS still has its Where’s My Refund? online tool.
When you eFile a tax return, you’ll have access to your refund status within 72 hours. Snail mail tax filers won’t have access for three to four weeks. If that’s not an argument for filing your taxes online, I don’t know what is.