Last-minute details, tips and freebies
With the individual tax-filing deadline on Monday, April 15, now is the time to complete all filing arrangements and payments. Ask yourself these six questions now before it’s too late to act:
- Do you need to sign your e-file authorization form? IRS Form 8879 needs to be signed by you before your taxes can be e-filed. If filing jointly, your spouse needs to sign as well. If you haven’t already, please return the signed form ASAP to ensure that your taxes can be e-filed on time.
- Do you owe taxes on your 2018 tax return? If yes, make your tax payment now! The IRS has several payment options on their website. If mailing a payment, include Form 1040-V and ensure the mail is postmarked on or before April 15. Sending the payment certified mail will ensure you have proof of timely payment. Late payments, even by one day, are subject to IRS penalties and interest.
- Do you need more time to file? If you are not ready to file your taxes before the initial April 15 deadline, you can file for a six-month extension. Be aware that it is only an extension of time to file — not an extension of time to pay taxes you owe. You still need to pay all taxes by April 15.
- Do you need to deposit funds in your IRA or HSA? Did you claim an IRA or HSA contribution on your tax return? In order for the deduction to be valid for 2018, all deposits to those accounts need to be made by April 15. Once completed, save proof of the contribution with your 2018 tax files.
- Do you need to make an estimated tax payment? The first quarter estimated tax payment for 2019 is also due on April 15. If you owe taxes for 2018, making 2019 estimated payments might make sense for you. A quick way to determine a first payment is to divide the taxes you paid by four, and then adjust the amount for any paycheck withholdings. Send your payment along with Form 1040-ES to the IRS by April 15. Then, schedule a tax-planning meeting to determine the best approach for the remainder of the year.
- Do you like free stuff? Who doesn't?! From free sub sandwiches and smoothies to discounted furniture and delivery services, tax day deals are out there waiting to be found. Check out the list from the Today Show and another from RetailMeNot to see if there are any deals you can enjoy!
If you miss a deadline, file your return and pay the taxes as soon as you can to stop accruing interest and penalties.