Filing taxes can be a daunting task for many individuals, especially with the looming deadline and complexity of the US tax code.
However, with some knowledge and guidance, you can successfully navigate the process and maximize your tax benefits. In this article, we will address common last-minute tax questions and provide answers and tips to help you file your taxes with confidence.
When is the tax deadline for individuals in the United States?
The typical tax deadline for individuals in the US is April 15th. However, depending on the year and other factors, the deadline can vary. For example, in 2020 and 2021, the deadline was extended to May 17th due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s important to confirm the deadline for a given tax year with the IRS or a tax professional. This year, however, the deadline is April 18th, 2022, due to the observance of Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.
If you’re unable to file your taxes by the deadline, you can request an extension by filing Form 4868. This will give you an additional six months to file your tax return, until October 15th.
However, it’s crucial to note that an extension to file does not mean an extension to pay any taxes owed. If you think you’ll owe taxes, try to estimate the amount and pay it by the original deadline to avoid penalties and interest.
What are some common tax deductions that individuals can claim on their tax returns?
Tax deductions reduce your taxable income and can result in a lower tax bill. Some common tax deductions for individuals include:
State and local taxes
You can deduct up to $10,000 in state and local income, sales, and property taxes.
You can deduct interest on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt for your primary residence and a second home.
You can deduct donations to qualified charitable organizations, subject to certain limits and rules.
Medical and dental expenses:
You can deduct medical and dental expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
Student loan interest
You can deduct up to $2,500 of interest paid on qualified student loans.
Retirement account contributions
You can deduct contributions to traditional IRA and certain other retirement accounts, subject to income limits and rules.
It’s important to consult with a tax professional to determine which deductions you’re eligible for and how to properly claim them.
How can I check the status of my tax refund?
The IRS issues most refunds within 21 days of receiving a tax return, although the timing can vary depending on the method of filing and other factors. You can check the status of your tax refund using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website.
To access the tool, you’ll need to enter your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact amount of your expected refund. The tool will then provide you with the status of your refund and an estimated date of when you can expect to receive it.
In conclusion, filing taxes can be a complex and stressful process, but understanding common tax questions and seeking professional advice can help alleviate some of the anxiety.
Confirming the tax deadline, identifying eligible deductions, and checking the status of your refund can help you stay on top of your tax obligations and maximize your tax benefits.
If you have additional questions or concerns, consider consulting with a licensed tax professional to help guide you through the process. Remember, taking action and filing your taxes before the deadline can help you avoid penalties and interest and keep your financial affairs in order.