Still scrambling to get your taxes done? Don’t worry—this year’s tax season is a bit longer than usual. While the tax deadline has traditionally been April 15, the 2020 tax deadline has been extended to July 15 due to COVID-19.
What does that mean for you and your taxes? We’ve got information you need to know about this year’s tax deadline.
Is the Tax Deadline Extension for Everyone?
According to the IRS, the tax deadline extension applies to individual returns as well as corporate and trust returns. And because this extension is automatic, you won’t have to fill out any additional forms to qualify.
Also, keep in mind is that this tax deadline extension is for federal taxes. State taxes, on the other hand, might have a different deadline. So you’ll probably want to check your state tax deadline, just to be sure.
What About Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments?
Are you a freelancer? Do you own a business? That means you’ll have to make quarterly estimated tax payments this year. According to the IRS website, here are the deadlines:
- If your payment period was January 1 – March 31, your tax deadline is July 15
- If your payment period was April 1 – May 31, your tax deadline is July 15
- If your payment period was June 1 – August 31, your tax deadline is September 15
- If your payment period was September 1 – December 31, your tax deadline is January 15, 2021
What Should I Do Before the Tax Deadline?
If you were a bit behind on filing your taxes this year, the good news is you have a bit more time. Here are some things you should do before the July 15 tax deadline comes around.
Make Sure You Have Everything—Yes, Everything
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to get all your documents in one place. And yes, we mean everything. When it comes to your taxes, you don’t want to leave anything out. It could cause a huge headache later on.
Make sure you have the following:
- Personal information for both you and your dependents
- Income and investment documents
- Medical bill receipts
- Business and self-employment records
- Charitable donations
- Homeownership records
Decide If You’ll Do Your Taxes Yourself or If You’ll Hire a Professional
Taxes aren’t easy. And they can take a lot of time. If you don’t have a whole afternoon to dedicate to doing your taxes, you might want to hire a professional to do them for you. It could be nice to have someone who has a sound understanding of tax rules and regulations to take care of your taxes for you.
But if you can’t fit the expense of hiring a professional into your budget, you can definitely do your taxes yourself. A lot of people file their taxes themselves, so why can’t you? Luckily, there are a lot of tools out there that’ll help you file your taxes for free.
Whichever you decide, make your choice now. You want to get started a few months in advance of the tax deadline, just in case. Better safe than sorry!
Make a Plan for Your Tax Return
No matter how much you’ll get in your tax return, it can’t hurt to have a plan for how you’ll use it. Due to the financial uncertainty from COVID-19, it couldn’t hurt to put a good amount of your tax return in your savings. And since unemployment is on the rise, it could be a nice cushion to fall back on if you find yourself without a job.
Your tax return could also come in handy if you have any major bills to pay. No matter how you decide to use your tax return, make sure you use it in a way that’s useful to you.
The Bottom Line
Take advantage of the 2020 tax deadline extension. It’s not an excuse to put off your taxes later, but it is a great opportunity to give yourself a little more time to complete your taxes. If you want to learn more about how COVID-19 can impact your finances in general, check out our COVID-19 Financial Resource Guide.