If you can’t get your taxes filed on April 15, 2018, don’t worry!
This year, April 15th falls on a Sunday. Normally, that would move tax day to Monday April 16th. However, Washington D.C. celebrates a legal holiday called Emancipation Day on April 16th, so tax due day is now April 17th.
So, get going!
Last, Last, Last Minute Tax Savings?
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Unfortunately, there aren’t really many options now. The one big exception is making a contribution to your IRA, assuming your IRA is deductible based upon your income and retirement plan availability. If you have an online account linked to a checking account, or something, that is the easiest way to make your contribution happen. Just log in and setup a deposit into your IRA account. Your brokerage will ask if you want it to count as a 2017 contribution, or a 2018 contribution.
Don’t forget to go back into TurboTax, TaxCut, or what the HR Block tax software is (I’m not going to bother looking it up ) and input the contribution. IRA contribution deductions are not automatic, so you have to put it into your tax forms.
If you are worrying about some sort of tax form or “proof” that you made the contribution, don’t worry. Those forms are called Form 5498. Those tax forms are sent by your IRA custodian (the company that holds your IRA account) directly to the IRS. You will also get a copy, but you don’t have to do anything with it. These forms are not due to be sent out until May 31, partly in order to accommodate last minute IRA contributions.
In other words, you make the contribution, and put it on your tax form, and don’t worry about the proof, your IRA company will take care of that for you. (Don’t try and fake the contribution though, because if the IRS doesn’t get a matching amount to what you put on your tax return on all of your Form 5498s, a computer is going to flag that for review.)
After that, get your taxes, or payment in a mailbox by midnight tonight. Be sure to check the Post Office website to see which, if any, post offices will be making after hours postmarks on mailed returns. Not all of them do. Don’t be a late filer based on a wrong guess about which Post Office you use to mail your return or payment.
IRS Filing Extension
If you can’t file your taxes by April 17, then it’s still no big deal. You can get a free, automatic, no questions asked extension for 6 months from the IRS by filling out Form 4868. There is a catch. If you OWE money, it is still due on April 17th. Any amount not paid by April 17th is subject to interest. So, if you are sure you are getting a refund, just send in your extension form and don’t worry about it.
If you are not getting a refund, then make your best guess and send the IRS a check. If you overpay, you’ll get refund when you did file your final tax return. If you underpay, you’ll still owe interest, but only on the amount you didn’t pay. For example, if you end up on your final income tax return 1040 owing $1,482 but you only sent the IRS $1,300 on April 17th, then you only owe interest on the $182 you didn’t pay, which will be a smaller amount than interest on the whole thing.
Good luck, and may the deductions be ever in your favor.