The federal tax deadline has moved to May 17, but as with everything else tax-related, it’s best to check all the fine print.
Here are a dozen tips for filers who may be rethinking their tax-prep plans thanks to the extension. Visit MOAA.org/Finance for more financial news and resources:
1. It’s not for everybody: Deadlines for quarterly estimated tax payments didn’t change. If you have a first-quarter payment due April 15, it’s still due April 15. Learn more about estimated taxes at this link.
2. It’s not for state taxes. If your state collects income taxes, it sets its own deadline for doing so. You can find out whether that deadline has changed by visiting your state tax agency’s website.
3. Southern state extensions. Residents of Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas have until June 15 to file their federal taxes via an extension granted after severe February storms.
4. Overseas extension. American citizens and resident aliens living abroad have an automatic two-month tax extension; the IRS has yet to spell out whether the new filing deadline will affect this extension. Learn more about overseas guidance at this link.
5. Combat zone extension. Servicemembers in combat zones have even longer to file their taxes – at least 180 days, with longer extensions available depending on service time in the combat zone. As with other overseas filing, the IRS has yet to provide details on what affect moving the April 15 deadline will have on these taxpayers; get answers to common combat-zone extension questions at this link.
6. COVID-19 concerns. Economic Impact Payments – the IRS term for stimulus checks – were issued in multiple iterations in recent months. If you’re not sure how these checks will affect your taxes, or what to do if you didn’t receive the full impact payment, visit this IRS link.
7. Tax prep help: In uniform. Military OneSource offers free tax preparation and filing software for those with a Military OneSource account. The link also includes information for contacting consultants trained in military-specific tax issues, and for finding your nearest Volunteer Income Tax Support Assistance (VITA) office.
8. Tax prep help: Veterans. Check out the IRS website’s veterans page for details on free filing options, veteran-specific tax issues, and more.
10. State tax tips from MOAA. MOAA’s Military State Report Card and Tax Guide offers a full breakdown of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Rules on taxation of military benefits, to include retirement pay, change frequently.
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11. Good reason to file early. While you’ve got more time to get your paperwork to the IRS, delays will only hurt your bank account if you’re expecting a refund. E-filed refund requests are usually issued within 21 days, per the IRS.
12. Need more time? Taxpayers can request an extension through Oct. 15 via IRS Form 4868. That extension is for filing only – the payments themselves remain due by May 17, with interest accruing thereafter.