The 2020 tax season starts on January 27, 2020. January kicks off the new year and with a new year, comes a new tax season. Get a fresh start by finding out the new tax changes for your 2019 tax return.
Additionally, check out some tax reminders below.
Tax dates to remember
It’s important to set a reminder whether it’s your phone or calendar.
- January 27, 2020, is when the IRS starts accepting electronically filed returns
- January 31, 2020, is the deadline for employers to issue W-2 income statements
- April 15, 2020, is the last day to claim your 2016 tax refund
- July 15, 2020 is the tax deadline for your 2019 tax return without accumulating penalties the last day to file a tax extension
- October 15, 2020, is the e-file and extension deadline
Correct personal information
First and foremost, be sure that your personal information such as birth dates, social security numbers and names are correct and updated.
Plus, you need to check that you or your dependents are not being claimed by anyone. Otherwise, you cannot file an individual return and your standard deduction will be reduced.
Getting your income statements
Employers are required to give you your income (W-2 or 1099) statements by January 31st. If you don’t receive it at that time, you will need to contact your employer or request a wage and income transcript online from the IRS.
The wage and income transcript shows information from Forms W-2, 1099, 1098, Form 5498, and IRA contributions reported to the IRS. However, current tax year information may not be updated until July. The IRS states that the transcript is available for up to 10 prior years using Get Transcript Online or Form 4506-T.
If all else fails and you want to file on time, estimate your wages and taxes and file a return. However, you must amend it (file 1040X) once you get the correct information.
Keep all of your receipts if you’re itemizing or claiming credits
Claiming tax credits and itemizing deductions help ease the heavy load of taxes. However, once you itemize your deductions, it’s a sure-fire way to raise red flags and may lead to a potential audit if you’re claiming large-scale expenses.
To avoid that, it’s crucial that you have supporting documentation such as receipts, logs, or statements indicating your expenses. If not, the IRS can disallow your expenses for your 2019 tax return.
Some examples of expenses that you need documentation for are:
- Receipts of all medical and dental expenses (Cosmetic does not count)
- Gifts to Charity donation – letter of acknowledgment from a qualified charitable organization
- Education expenses such as tuition – 1098-T
- Home mortgage interest and points – Form 1098
- Receipts of all business expenses on a Schedule C
- Casualty and theft losses from a federally declared disaster – all recorded information on the damage of property/items and insurance reimbursements
- Receipts of all employee expenses for members of the Armed Forces, qualified actors or performers, or fee-based government employees
- Taxes you’ve paid – State and local taxes, real estate and property taxes, and sales tax
Reminders when e-filing
One of the issues we run into every tax season are customers entering the incorrect routing and account number when choosing direct deposit to receive their refund. Be sure to triple-check your bank information.
Most importantly, when filing a tax extension with a tax liability, you will need to pay your taxes to the IRS to avoid penalties by the original tax deadline (July 15 this year). Otherwise, you’ll be looking at a hefty tax bill.
Start your 2019 taxes now!
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Create an account, enter your tax information, and submit it for e-file. The faster you file, you can expect your refund sooner.
Stay updated on the current COVID-19 situation by reading these blogs:
- Economic Stimulus Payments: The Get My Payment Tool vs Non-Filers Tool
- How does the Coronavirus Stimulus Check Work? (FAQ’s)
- The IRS Extends the Tax Deadline Due to the Coronavirus