How to File Your Federal Taxes
Federal income tax returns were due on July 15, 2020. This provides taxpayers an extra three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Learn how to file federal income tax return or how you can get an extension.
Tax Filing Deadlines and Extension Due to Coronavirus
The deadline for filing federal income taxes was July 15, 2020. This three-month extension to the normal April 15 deadline comes in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
This extension does not apply to state and local tax returns. To make sure you file those on time, find out the tax filing due dates in your state. If you do not file and pay your taxes on time, you will be charged interest and a late payment penalty. For taxpayers due a refund, there is no penalty for filing a late return.
Do I Need to File a Tax Return?
You may not have to file a federal income tax return if your income is below a certain amount. But, you must file a tax return to claim a refundable tax credit or a refund for withheld income tax. Find out if you have to file a tax return.
File a Federal Income Tax Return
In order to file your taxes, you'll need a few things. First you'll need to know how much money you made. Then you'll need to decide whether to take the standard deduction or itemize your return. Finally, you'll need to submit everything by July 15. The deadline for filing federal taxes in 2020 was extended to July 15 due to the coronavirus crisis.
Steps to File a Tax Return
Gather your paperwork, including:
Choose your filing status. Filing status is based on whether you're married. The percentage you pay toward household expenses also affects your filing status.
Decide how you want to file your taxes. The IRS recommends using tax preparation software to e-file for the easiest and most accurate returns.
Determine if you are taking the standard deduction or itemizing your return. The new tax law increased the standard deduction but eliminated some other types of deductions.
If you owe money, learn how to make a tax payment, including applying for a payment plan.
File your taxes by the deadline (typically April 15 each year).
Find out how to check the status of your tax refund.
Contact the IRS for Tax Help
For the fastest information, the IRS recommends finding answers to your questions online. You can also call the IRS. This option works best for less complex questions. Keep in mind that wait times to speak with a representative may be long.
Extension to File Your Tax Return
If you can’t file your federal income tax return by the due date, you may be able to get a six-month extension from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This does not grant you more time to pay your taxes.
Be aware that the regular deadline for filing 2019 federal tax returns had been extended three months, to July 15, 2020, due to the coronavirus crisis.
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December 7, 2020