The Countdown is On: When Does Tax Season End and What You Need to Know
As the end of the year draws near, so does the end of tax season. The clock is ticking, and taxpayers across the country are scrambling to get their finances in order before the deadline. Whether you’re filing your taxes for the first time or a seasoned veteran, it’s crucial to understand when tax season ends and what you need to know to avoid any last-minute surprises.
First and foremost, it’s critical to know the tax filing deadline. For most taxpayers, the deadline to file taxes for the previous year is April 15th. However, in some circumstances, the deadline may be extended. For example, if you live in a presidentially declared disaster area, you may be granted an extension. Additionally, military personnel serving overseas may have extra time to file their taxes.
If you’re unable to file your taxes by the April 15th deadline, you may request a six-month extension by filing Form 4868. This will extend the deadline to October 15th, but keep in mind that any taxes owed are still due by the April deadline. Failure to pay taxes owed by the deadline may result in penalties and interest, which can quickly add up.
It’s essential to note that the filing deadline only applies to federal income taxes. State income tax deadlines vary, so be sure to check with your state’s tax agency to determine the filing deadline. Many states have a filing deadline of April 15th, but some states have different deadlines, such as Virginia (May 1) or Massachusetts (April 17).
Another critical factor to consider when preparing to file your taxes is the documents you’ll need. This includes all income statements, such as W-2s and 1099s, as well as any deductions or credits you plan to claim. If you’re self-employed or have a side hustle, you’ll also need to gather documentation of any business-related expenses. Keep in mind that some deductions and credits may require additional paperwork, such as charitable donations or education expenses.
If you’re using a tax preparation software or hiring a tax professional, they may have specific recommendations for documents you’ll need. It’s essential to communicate with them early in the process to ensure all necessary information is collected.
One common mistake many taxpayers make is failing to double-check their tax return before submitting it. Small errors, such as typos or transposed numbers, can result in delays or even mistakes on your return. Take the time to double-check your work and ensure all information is accurate before submitting your return.
Filing your taxes can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding when tax season ends and what you need to know to prepare, you can minimize stress and avoid any last-minute surprises. Keep in mind the deadlines for both federal and state income taxes, gather all necessary documents, and double-check your return before submitting it. With these steps in mind, you’ll be well on your way to a successful and stress-free tax season.