Taxes 2019: When they’re due, how to file online and more
Tax season is right around the corner, and this year could be a doozy.
Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, which means there’s a host of new rules and regulations for the 2018 tax year. The laws were already complicated — and now we have new tax rates, new rules for the standard deduction and a slew of other changes. Oh, you have questions? Sorry, the federal government is shut down.
Despite the fact that the IRS has closed its doors and phone lines, there are resources to help you navigate the process of filing your taxes for 2018. The IRS published a 12-page PDF covering the major changes that took effect in 2018, and there may be answers to some questions on the IRS website.
Plus, CNET has taken a fresh look at how the different online tax prep services stack up this year. We present here some answers to common questions about when to pay, how to pay, who to pay, where to send your payment — and, if you happen to be so fortunate, when to expect your refund.
When are taxes due this year?
For most people in the US, taxes for 2018 are officially due on Monday, April 15, 2019. The exception: if you live in Maine or Massachusetts, where the 15th is the Patriot’s Day holiday, or the District of Columbia, where the 16th is Emancipation Day, you have until Wednesday, April 17 to file.
The IRS will usually allows taxpayers to file for an extension. This year, according to the instructions on Form 4868 (“Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File US Individual Income Tax Return”), taxpayers can apply for an extra 6 months to file — making October 15, 2019 the due date. Taxpayers who will be out of the country on April 15, 2019, are eligible for a 60-day extension, until June 17, 2018.
Otherwise, you should plan to e-file or postmark your individual tax return by midnight on the 15th — at the latest. Among the many advantages of filing early, preventing someone else from filing fraudulently on your behalf is reason enough to get your taxes done as soon as possible.
How do I file my taxes online?
The IRS provides a list of free online tax prep software from providers such as eSmart, TaxSlayer and H&R Block. The only catch: it’s free only if you qualify to use a 1040ez form. That means your tax situation needs to be relatively simple. You can use it if you make less than $100,000 annually, you don’t itemize deductions and you don’t own a business.