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The tax filing deadline for individual taxpayers is just a week away. If you’ve been pushing off filing, you may want to consider filing for an extension. It only takes a few minutes, there are no special hoops to jump through, and there’s no fee payable to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). And contrary to popular belief – and what some suggest this time of year – filing for an extension isn’t an audit trigger. The IRS understands that there are legitimate reasons why taxpayers may need more time to file. The great thing about filing for an extension early on is that you don’t need to tell anyone – not your mother, not your best friend and not even the IRS – why you’re making the request since the extension is automatically granted if you follow the rules. To file for an extension, you can: File for an extension…

Scrambling to make estimated payments? Don’t worry! The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers that estimated tax payments for the tax year 2020, ordinarily due April 15, 2020, and June 15, 2020, are now due July 15, 2020.  The extended deadline means that any individual or corporation that has a quarterly estimated tax payment due April 15, 2020, or June 15, 2020, has until July 15 to make that payment without penalty. The extension is part of the IRS response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally, you should pay estimated tax if you are not subject to withholding. Realistically, this means that folks who rely on income reported on a Form 1099 (like self-employment income, interest, dividends, and retirement income) are most likely to be responsible for estimated tax. If you’re self-employed, a gig economy worker, a retiree with a pension or other income, or a partner in a partnership or LLC, this…

Taxpayer asks: How can I change my address with the IRS? Taxgirl says: The easiest way to change your address if there’s no time consideration is just to use your new address when you file your tax return. But if you filed a joint tax return and you and your ex now have separate addresses, each of you should notify the IRS of your separate address when you file. If you move after filing your return, use Form 8822, Change of Address to notify the IRS of your new address. The form is easy to use – just download it from the IRS website or use the link above – but if you don’t want to use the form, the IRS allows you to submit a written statement. Mail a signed statement with your full name and Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), together with your old address…

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced a game-changer: later this summer, taxpayers will be able to file Form 1040-X, Amended U.S Individual Income Tax Return, electronically. Before this year, you could only amend your tax return by paper. At the best of times, that could mean a six-to-eight week wait for processing. And these are not the best of times. With a backlog of mail due to the pandemic, processing times were expected to be extremely lengthy. Taxpayers and tax professionals have – for years – hoped that the IRS would allow for e-filing amended returns. According to the IRS, making the 1040-X an electronically filed form has been the agency’s goal for years. Now, it’s really happening.  (Insert cheers and whistles here.) “This new process is a major milestone for the IRS, and it follows hard work by people across the agency,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “E-filing has been one…

First things first: as of today, the 2019 tax filing season deadline remains July 15, 2020. I just wanted to get that out of the way since there are so many headlines suggesting that there’s a change on the way. As of today, nothing has changed. Here’s where we stand. On March 20, 2020, the IRS officially confirmed – and issued guidance – making clear that the due date for filing tax returns and making tax payments has been extended from April 15 to July 15. You can read the guidance here (downloads as a PDF). And if you need more time to file, you can always file for an extension. However, it’s important to note that, in 2020, an extension would extend the time to file by six months from the original due date (April 15) to October 15, 2020, and NOT six months from the revised due date (July 15, 2020) to January 15,…

You probably already know that you can fix most tax return mistakes by filing an amended return. If IRS doesn’t correct your error or if it’s a huge mistake or if you forgot to report something important (like being married), you can amend your previously filed tax return with a federal form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (downloads as a PDF). It’s a relatively short form, but must be filed by paper: when you’re finished, you must print out and mail your form 1040X. You may not file your amended return electronically. But an amended return isn’t always the best option. According to National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins, a “superseding tax return” may be the best fix for some taxpayers during this filing season – if the IRS can process them quickly and properly. About seven of ten taxpayers get a refund each year. Most want their money quickly and opt for a check. But…

Looking for your tax forms, like your W-2 or 1099-MISC? Most tax forms should be in your mailbox or on their way – but if you don’t have them in hand just yet, there are steps that you can take to make sure that you have what you need when it’s time to file. If you’re looking for your annual Benefit Statement from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you’re in luck: things just got a little easier. Your form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, or form SSA-1042S, Social Security Benefit Statement (Nonresident Aliens), should land in your mailbox by the end of January. But if you haven’t received your form yet and you live in the United States, you can print a replacement form online. Simply click over to my Social Security on the SSA website. If you don’t already have an account, click the button to start. If you already have an account, simply…

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin accepting paper and electronic tax returns on January 27, 2020. That means that tax forms used to prepare returns may already be in the hands of taxpayers, or they are on their way. Here’s what you need to know about tax form due dates and what to do if yours is late. The form that most folks care about is the form W-2, which has a due date of January 31. Your tax form is on time if the form is properly addressed and mailed on or before the due date. If the normal due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday – which is not the case in 2020 – issuers have until the next business day. Here’s a look at the due dates for some other popular tax forms: Keep in mind that these are the due dates for furnishing…

It’s true: Simple is hard. In an effort to make things easier for taxpayers and tax forms issuers, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is bringing back form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation. If that rings a bell, you’re showing your age: we haven’t seen this form since 1982. The IRS initially announced the return of form 1099-NEC in August of this year. Now, we have an updated draft. Here’s what it looks like: The form will replace parts of the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, for some taxpayers. Ironically, form 1099-MISC was the form that replaced form 1099-NEC in the first place (is your head spinning yet?). Why the need for the change again? The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) that was enacted on December 18, 2015, made several changes to the way we file taxes. Specifically, under the PATH Act, employers were required to furnish some forms 1099-MISC to…

With the new tax filing season just months away, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the second draft of federal form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors. The form, with larger print and less fussy boxes, is intended to make life easier for some of the approximately 15 million senior households expected to file tax returns in 2020. Taxpayers got wind of the new 1040-SR in December of 2017 as part of the Chairman’s Mark of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). In that initial markup, Congress proposed a new federal form 1040-SR for use by persons who are age 65 or older. At the time, the form was described “as similar as possible to the Form 1040EZ.” The difference was supposed to be that the use of form 1040-SR would not be limited by taxable income or by certain income types. The following year, the IRS pulled the plug on form 1040EZ (used by…

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