2021: The year that, once again, April 15 isn't Tax Day.
Ah, April. The month of showers, spring-like weather and Tax Day.
The new Tax Day 2021 now is May 17.
In addition to more time to get our 1040 forms done (and 2020 tax year bills paid), the Internal Revenue Service also is giving us another month to put money and count it as a 2020 contribution to traditional or Roth IRAs, health savings accounts (HSAs), Archer Medical Savings Accounts (Archer MSAs), and Coverdell education savings accounts (Coverdell ESAs).
April 15, however, is still the deadline to pay your 2021 first quarter estimated tax amount. And lots of business tax deadlines remain on the April tax calendar.
Confused? Frustrated? Angry? Welcome to taxes in the time of COVID-19.
Here's hoping this month's tax tips will help ease some of your tax travails, as well as lower your current and 2021 tax bills. Let's get to them!
- Picking the proper filing status — Most folks' filing status stays the same from tax year to tax year. But a change (or two, or more) in your personal situation could mean you need to revisit how you file your return. The Internal Revenue Service gives us 5 filing status choices. Pick the proper one. It could make a big difference in your tax bill. (April 1, 2021)
- Claiming the simpler home office deduction — You're your own boss, so your home office is tax deductible. But you're not sure you want to go to the hassle of digging out receipts. No worries. You might be able to take the Internal Revenue Service approved easier way to deduct your home office. (April 4, 2021)
- Most states make move to May 17 Tax Day — Most Americans also must file an annual state tax return. And most of those states have decided to follow the Internal Revenue Service's decision to push Tax Day 2021 from April 15 to May 17, or at least adjust their deadline beyond its original setting. But not Hawai'i. The 50th state has said Aloha to making a filing deadline change. (April 7, 2021)
- April 15 is still due date for 1Q 2021 estimated tax payment — If you must pay estimated taxes on earnings that aren't subject to payroll withholding, the first deadline for the 2021 tax year is Thursday, April 15. Even though Tax Day this year has been pushed to May 17, other tax due dates — including the first quarter's 1040-ES — remain on the usual mid-April schedule. A bill to align estimated tax payments this year to the May change is still pending, but it looks like Congress won't act in time to change it. (April 12, 2021)
- Tax Day toss-up: April 15 is here and it's still sorta Tax Day 2021. Here's a look at what federal filings are due today, April 15; what must be filed (and paid) by May 17; and who gets to wait until June 15. And don't forget about your state taxes, which likely have shifted at least some state tax task deadlines, too. (April 15, 2021)
- Don't make any of these 12 tax filing mistakes — To err is human. To err when doing your taxes is all too common. And this filing season, COVID-prompted changes offer new challenges and ways to screw up your return. Here are a dozen tax errors to watch out for and avoid. (April 21, 2021)
- 7 tax record keeping FAQ — What to do about all the material you used to file your tax return? For at least a few years, you need to hang on to it. Good record keeping of your tax documents and statements will come in handy for future filings, potential natural disaster claims and, if worse comes to worst, answering an IRS auditor's questions. Here are some frequently asked tax record keeping questions and answers. (April 25, 2021)
- 13 tax audit red flags — Taxpayers are always worrying about being audited, even when they're honest and do their best to file accurately. It's a valid concern. There simply are some things that cause the Internal Revenue Service to take a closer look at returns. Here's a baker's dozen tax situations that you should avoid where possible or at least be aware that they pique added IRS examiner interest. (April 29, 2021)
- Dealing with IRS tax notices — You filed your tax return. Now the Internal Revenue Service has questions about your Form 1040. Don't freak out. A notice does not mean you'll face a full-blown audit. But don't ignore the notice either. That likely will make things worse. Those are just 2 of 10 tax notice tips to help you deal with your unexpected tax agency communication. (April 30, 2021)
Looking for more tax tidbits? All the Tax Tip page links below are live. If, however, you click on a month later in the year, instead of getting more pieces of tax advice, you'll be greeted by a fun GIF of a man enthusiastically telling us to slow down, or Whoa Up! as we say here in Texas.
I know you want to see him, so go ahead and click on December. I promise that tax info will replace that animated fellow when the calendar finally flips to the remaining 2021 months.