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Tax Day: Here’s What You Need to Know If You Haven’t Filed Your Return Yet — and Even If You Have
Tax Day is one of the most anticipated days of the year, and for many, it can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. This year, the deadline to file your taxes has been extended to May 17th, 2021, giving taxpayers some extra time to complete their returns. However, there are still several important things to know, whether you have filed your return already or haven’t begun the process yet.
If you haven’t filed your return yet, here is what you need to know:
1. Do It As Soon As Possible
If you haven’t filed your tax return yet, the most important thing to do is to start as soon as possible. The closer you get to the deadline, the more overwhelmed you’ll feel, and the more mistakes you’ll make. The sooner you start, the more time you’ll have to review all of your paperwork, double-check your calculations, and make any necessary changes.
2. Check for Refundable Credits
One of the biggest mistakes that taxpayers make is failing to claim all the deductions and credits that they are eligible for. Take some time to go through your paperwork and make sure you haven’t missed any valuable credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit.
3. Don’t Forget About State Taxes
While most taxpayers focus on their federal tax return, it’s important to remember that many states also require a state tax return. If you haven’t filed your state tax return yet, make sure to do so as soon as possible to avoid penalties and interest.
4. Consider Filing an Extension
If you can’t file your tax return by May 17th, you can file for an extension. However, it’s important to remember that filing an extension only gives you more time to file your return, not to pay your taxes. If you think you will owe taxes, make sure to estimate your tax liability and make a payment before the deadline to avoid penalties and interest.
If you have already filed your return, here is what you need to know:
1. You Can Still Make Contributions to Your IRA
Even if you have already filed your tax return, you can still make contributions to your individual retirement account (IRA) for the previous year until May 17th, 2021. This is an excellent opportunity to boost your retirement savings and potentially lower your tax bill.
2. Look for Any Errors or Omissions
If you’ve already filed your tax return, take some time to review it carefully for any errors or omissions. Even small mistakes, such as typos or incorrect Social Security numbers, can cause delays in processing your return or even trigger an audit.
3. Request an Amendment If Necessary
If you do find errors or omissions on your tax return, you can file an amendment to correct them. However, it’s important to remember that you have to file an amendment within three years of the original filing deadline.
4. Start Planning for Next Year
Even if you’ve already filed your tax return, it’s never too early to start planning for next year. Take some time to review your tax situation, analyze your income and expenses, and look for ways to reduce your tax liability for the upcoming year.
In conclusion, Tax Day can be a stressful and overwhelming experience for many taxpayers. However, by taking some time to understand your tax situation, planning ahead, and seeking professional help when necessary, you can make the process a little less daunting. Whether you have already filed your return or still need to do so, there are many important things to keep in mind to ensure that you are meeting all of your tax obligations and maximizing your tax benefits.