The 2018 tax season is not quite over for some folks. But if you're an extra-late filer and want to submit your 1040 electronically, you must do so by Nov. 17.
After that date, you'll have to complete your 2017 tax year filing on paper returns.
Must-do maintenance: The Internal Revenue Service didn't select the Nov. 17 e-file drop-dead due date randomly.
The agency says it needs to shut down its IRS Modernized e-file system that processes electronically-filed individual returns after next weekend so that it has enough time to perform annual maintenance.
The IRS also has to reprogram the e-file system for the upcoming 2019 tax-filing season, which entails myriad changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Late-filing reasons: There are many reasons folks miss filing dates. Sometimes life just gets in the way, with personal circumstances taking precedence over tax due dates. I get that.
Just know that if you missed either (or both) the regular April and October extended filing deadlines and owe money, your penalties are continuing to accrue.
So try to get those tax forms to the IRS ASAP — and e-filing is the quickest way — to stop that money flow.
Extra-extended disaster-related deadlines: Some folks are spared those penalties because they live in major disaster areas.
This includes, notes the IRS, individuals and business owners e who endured the wrath of and damages from Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Florence and the wildfires in Northern California earlier this year.
The extended deadlines in these disaster situations vary by locality and range, from Nov. 30 for some Golden State taxes and from Dec. 17 to Feb. 28, 2019, for parts of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin and the Northern Mariana Islands that sustained hurricane and typhoon damages.
In addition to the links above to my blog posts on these extended deadlines, you can get more information at the IRS' disaster relief page.
Then get to work on your returns. You have just more than a week, by next Saturday, Nov. 17, to file them electronically.
You also might find these items of interest:
- How to claim major disaster tax losses
- Despite no cost, IRS' Free File option isn't that popular
- Reconstructing tax & other records after a natural disaster