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Mark your tax calendar: Key 2024 federal tax dates

Updated Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, to include the just announced official start of the 2024 tax filing season.

Mark your calendar written across a calendar page

Not only is it the first week of a brand, spanking new year, it's the first week of the 2024 tax filing season.

I know, the Internal Revenue Service isn't yet accepting 2023 tax returns. That won't happen until the official start of the 2024 filing season on Monday, Jan. 29.

But lots of taxpayers already are getting their forms in order, so they can send them the minute the IRS officially opens its doors, and computer system, to process them.

And we also have lots of other dates, like the April 15 Tax Day, that are set.

Holiday effects on tax deadlines: Of course, as happens every year, there are the normal conflicts that delay some of them a bit. Tax deadlines shift to the next business day when are they fall on weekends or legal holidays.

The legal holidays in 2024 that could affect some tax deadlines are —

You might be asking about Emancipation Day, which in 2024 falls just after Tax Day. Although it is a holiday only in the national capital, it's on the list because the term legal holiday encompasses any legal holiday in the District of Columbia.

You probably remember those years when the Washington, D.C., holiday celebration of Emancipation Day coincided with Tax Day. That gave us all another day (or sometimes two, like last year) to file and pay our federal taxes.

State tax timing, too: While the District of Columbia is not a state (yet), one other state holiday also sometimes affects federal taxes. That's Patriots' Day.

This state holiday in both Maine and Massachusetts on April 15 commemorates the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord, and it gives taxpayers in those states more time to fulfill their annual federal tax filing obligations. That normally would be April 16, but since we know that's Emancipation Day, Maine and Massachusetts filers get until April 17 this year to file and pay their federal taxes.

And speaking of states, most of them that collect individual income taxes follow the federal filing calendar. You can double check your state's filing due date in the ol' blog's state tax directory. It has links to the various revenue departments where you can get the latest state tax information, including any deadlines.

As for business filing deadlines, since this calendar focuses on individual taxes, you can find more on business tax dates in the IRS' online tax calendar.

Finally, even if you're an early individual filer, take at least a cursory glance at all the tax dates. There is at least one federal tax deadline in every month of the year. Obviously, they don't apply to every taxpayer, but it never hurts to know them. Just in case. Especially when it comes to taxes.

OK, enough with the calendar considerations. Since time is ticking away, here goes with the due dates for the next 12 months.

JANUARY

Wednesday, January 10 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in December, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070.

Friday, January 12 — Free File opens for taxpayers whose 2023 adjusted gross income, regardless of filing status, was $79,000 or less in 2023

Tuesday, January 16 — This is the due date for the final individual estimated tax payment for the 2023 tax year. This fourth quarter 1040-ES amount usually is due on Jan. 15, but that's the Monday federal holiday celebrating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's life. So this due date was bumped to today. Jan. 16 also the deadline for farmers and fishermen pay to pay estimated tax for 2023.

Today, Tuesday, Jan. 16, also is the day that the IRS begins accepting electronically filed business returns.

Monday, January 29 — The IRS today starts accepting and processing 2023 tax year returns, both those filed by paper and electronically.

Wednesday, January 31 — If you didn't pay your final 2023 estimated tax amount a couple of weeks ago, you need to file your full 2023 tax return today to avoid any penalty for not paying it on time.

FEBRUARY

Monday, February 12 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in January, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070.

Thursday, February 15 — If you claimed exemption from income tax withholding last year on the Form W-4 you gave your employer, you must file a new Form W-4 by today to continue your exemption for another year.

MARCH

Friday, March 1 — Farmers and fishermen get until today to file their 2023 tax return (Form 1040) to avoid a potential penalty for having paid their final 2023 estimated tax by Jan. 16.

Monday, March 11 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in February, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070.

Friday, March 15 — This is a key day for business filers. Yes, I know I said earlier that I'm focusing on individual deadlines, but I'm making an exception for the Ides of March. Today is the deadline for partnerships and S Corps to file their returns. Or file for an extension.

APRIL

Monday, April 1 — Yes, it's April Fools' Day, but the IRS isn't fooling around if you turned 73 in 2023. If you celebrated that birthday last year and didn't take your first required minimum distribution (RMD) by Dec. 31, 2023, you must do so by today, April 1. Don't miss the deadline or you could face a substantial 25 percent penalty on the overlooked/ignored withdrawal. Then you've got to take an RMD every year by Dec. 31, including this one. That means you'll be getting two distributions from your deferred-tax retirement accounts in 2024. That also means you need to check into whether multiple RMDs in one year will kick you into a higher tax bracket and/or necessitate additional estimated tax payments.

Wednesday, April 10 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in March, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070.

Monday, April 15 — This is it. Tax Day 2024 for all except the previously discussed Maine and Massachusetts filers and some Tennessee taxpayers who were in tornado paths last December. If you don't file your 2023 tax return and pay any tax due, you could face late- or non-filing penalties. Or you can file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and get until mid-October to file your tax forms. Note, however, that this extension is just to file; you still must pay any 2023 tax you expect to owe by today. That payment must with your extension filing, either as a mailed paper Form 4868 or an electronic filing.

Monday, April 15 also is the deadline (for most of us) to

  • Pay our estimated tax amount for the first quarter of 2024 (use Form 1040-ES if mailing in the payment, or pay it electronically)
  • Contribute to IRA, traditional or Roth, for the 2023 tax year;
  • Withdraw excess 2023 IRA contributions in to avoid penalty (if you didn't file for an extension to finish your Form 1040);
  • Contribute, if you're self-employed, to a Solo 401(k) Plan or Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan for the 2023 tax year (if you didn't file for an extension to finish your Form 1040);
  • Contribute to a health savings account (HSA) for 2023 tax year; and
  • File Schedule H (1040) and pay employment taxes for household employees (file Schedule H separately if you are not filing Form 1040).

MAY

Friday, May 10 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in April, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070.

JUNE

Monday, June 10 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in May, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070. This usual June 10 deadline moves to Monday this month because it was on Saturday.

Monday, June 17 — Pay the estimated tax amount for the second quarter of 2024. You can mail the amount using Form 1040-ES and it will be counted as paid on time as long as the envelope bears a June 17, 2024, postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service. Or you can pay electronically.

Monday, June 17 — This mid-June day also is the deadline for U.S. taxpayers who are living and working abroad, as well as military personnel stationed outside the United States, to file their 2023 tax return. If overseas workers or active-duty members of the armed forces are unable to file today, they can use Form 4868 to request four extra months, until October, to file their forms, but as with the April deadline, the payment of any due tax is not extended.

JULY

Wednesday, July 10 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in June, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070.

AUGUST

Monday, August 12 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in July, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070.

SEPTEMBER

Tuesday, September 10 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in August, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070. 4070. This deadline is a day later than usual, since Sept. 10 is on Sunday.

Monday, September 16 — Pay the estimated tax amount for the third quarter of 2024. You can mail the amount using Form 1040-ES and it will be counted as paid on time as long as the envelope bears a Sept. 16, 2024, postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service. Or you can pay electronically.

OCTOBER

Thursday, October 10 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in September, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070.

Tuesday, October 15 — This is the absolutely final Tax Day 2024 for taxpayers who got an extension to file their 2023 tax year Form 1040. If that's you, you need to get the paperwork to the IRS electronically today, or on its way as an old-school paper filing in an envelope postmarked Oct. 15 by the U.S. Postal Service.

Tuesday, October 15 also is the deadline for those who got extensions to

NOVEMBER

Tuesday, November 12 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in October, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070. This usual Nov. 10 due date moves to Monday because Veterans Day is observed by the federal government on that previous Friday.

DECEMBER

Tuesday, December 10 — If your job includes tips from customers and you got at least $20 in gratuities in November, you need to report the amount to your employer today using Form 4070. This deadline is shifted because Dec. 10 is on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 31 — We finally made it! Tax year 2024 is over. It's also the day to meet some tax deadlines.

As noted in the April section, retirees who must take RMDs from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s must do so by today. It's also the last day to make contributions to company retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, for the 2024 tax year.

It's also the last day to donate to your favorite nonprofit and have the gift count as an itemized charitable tax deduction on your 2024 return.

Some other Dec. 31 actions, such as getting married, finalizing a divorce, or adding a new family member, also will affect your 2024 taxes for the entire year.

So long 2024: OK, that's it. For now. Mark your electronic or paper (yes, some of us still use them, too) calendars and set reminders set for the upcoming 2024 tax deadlines you must meet.

Then go and enjoy the rest of the non-tax year.

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