Tax Day is coming. Did you forget? I don’t blame you. America’s worst annual holiday was moved from April 15 to July 15 back in March, and if you weren’t expecting to get a refund, you probably put the task aside.
Well, it’s time to stop avoiding it. We’re just about a month away from the deadline to file your 2019 tax return.
July 15 is also the day your second-quarter payment is due if you file quarterly estimated taxes (It’s usually due June 15, but got bumped back this year due to the pandemic.) Your state tax due date may vary.
If you’re not sure how to get started, we have a list of websites that offer free filing options for state and federal taxes. If you earned less than $70,000 last year, in some cases you can have your taxes prepared for free with the help of an online program. Some of these programs also have age limitations, stipulating you need to be under 59 or 50 to get free filing services.
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The procrastinators among us might be wondering: What about that stimulus payment you got (or are expecting to get)?
If you’ve already received your coronavirus relief payment, filing your 2019 taxes won’t impact it, even if your income has fluctuated since you filed your 2018 return. If your 2019 income was lower than your 2018 income (technically, your adjusted gross income, or AGI) to the point where you weren’t eligible for a payment based on your 2018 income but are eligible for 2019, you’ll get a tax credit when you file in 2020. Depending on the amount of that credit, you might get a refund.
Meanwhile, if you were eligible for a payment based on your 2018 tax return but your 2019 income is too high, you won’t have to pay that money back next year. The coronavirus relief payment is an advance refundable tax credit, which means it is given out in advance of you filing your taxes but can’t be taken back if your situation changes.
So don’t worry about that relief payment right now. Just get your 2019 taxes over and done with. If you owe a balance, remember you can set up an installment plan to make paying the IRS more manageable.
This story was updated on 6/16/20 to correct the due date for estimated tax payments. The July 15 deadline is for second-quarter payments, not first-quarter payments.