The clock is ticking and Tax Day is here. If you haven’t pulled your tax return together and sent it into the IRS by now, you’re just about out of time.
Procrastinators can request a six-month extension to submit their returns, but you only have until midnight Monday to submit taxes owed.
The IRS is anticipating receiving about 153 million individual tax returns from 2018 over the course of this year.
This year is the first time taxpayers will file under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This overhaul of the tax code roughly doubled the standard deduction to $12,000 for singles ($24,000 for married-filing-jointly), eliminated personal exemptions and limited itemized deductions.
Those changes created tension for many taxpayers and accountants. The more elaborate the return, the longer people waited to submit their paperwork.
“In terms of the tax season, this year was one of the worst with the slowness,” said Jeffrey A. Porter, CPA and founder of Porter & Associates in Huntington, West Virginia.
“We’re going to have more extensions than we had in the past,” he said.
Here’s what you need to know if you are in the throws of the final hours of tax season. You’re going to have a rough time without the right forms and receipts.
You will have three options on how to file your taxes. If you earn under $66,000 annually, you can file for free with the IRS directly. You can also use tax prep software to file your taxes yourself, or use an authorized professional.
It is recommended that you file electronically, it is usually easier to track refunds and filing status.
- Check IRS.gov for tax prep software recommendations.
- You can file for free using IRS Free File.
- Hire a professional. Learn more about what to look for here.
Filing opened January 31. File as soon as you can; the recent government shutdown, coupled with the new tax code, may complicate tax return processing by the IRS, but the sooner you file, the sooner you can get your refund.