If you haven’t started on your 2017 tax returns — or even started thinking about starting them — it’s time!
Tax season has officially begun. As of Jan. 29, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is accepting and processing tax returns for 2017, and that April deadline to file tax returns will come a lot faster than you think.
As you work on your taxes, there are several important dates to mark on your calendar. Here are the top five 2018 tax deadlines and dates you should keep in mind as you work on your taxes this year.
5 must-know 2018 tax dates
1. 2018 filing tax deadline
When is the 2018 tax filing deadline? If your guess is April 15, think again. For the third year in a row, the deadline to file taxes is not the usual date.
That’s because April 15 falls on a Sunday this year. Usually, that would push the tax deadline to the following Monday, which is April 16.
“However, Emancipation Day — a legal holiday in the District of Columbia — will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 17, 2018,” according to an IRS statement on 2018 tax dates.
So mark it on your calendar: Tuesday, April 17 is the date to remember as your deadline to file taxes in 2018.
2. Tax extension deadline
The tax extension deadline is the same as the tax filing deadline.
So if you need more time to work on your tax returns, you’ll need to file for a tax extension by April 17. This will push your tax return deadline back six months, to Monday, Oct. 15.
Keep in mind that while an extension gives you more time to complete your tax returns, it doesn’t extend the due date for any taxes owed. You’ll still need to pay any estimated taxes you owe to the IRS by April 17.
3. State tax filing deadlines
In almost every state, the tax deadline for state returns is the same as the IRS’s deadline for federal income tax returns. So for 2018, that deadline falls on April 17.
However, taxpayers in Hawaii get three extra days to file taxes with a deadline of April 20, according to eFile.com. Delaware residents have until April 30 to file a state tax return, and Iowa, Louisiana, and Virginia all have state tax return deadlines set in May.
Of course, some states don’t levy a state income tax. Lucky residents in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming don’t need to file a state tax return at all.
4. 2017 IRA contribution deadline
The tax deadline for returns is April 17. Filers must make 2017 contributions to their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) by the same date.
This is necessary if filers want to deduct these retirement savings from their 2017 taxable income, which in turn can mean lowering the income tax they owe.
Or, you can make nondeductible contributions to an IRA or Roth IRA that will count against the 2017 contribution limits. Those limits are $5,500 for savers ages 49 and under, or $6,500 for those who turned 50 or older in 2017.
5. Tax refund deadline
How soon you can expect to get a tax refund will depend on when you file and what kind of tax credits you claim.
Typically, the IRS processes a tax return and issues a refund (if it owes one to the filer) within 21 calendar days of filing. However, it might take a few additional days for a bank to process the refund into the filer’s account.
Therefore, the soonest anyone could expect a tax refund is Feb. 19 if they filed on Jan. 29.
The timeline for refunds to filers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), however, will be a little longer. The law requires the IRS to hold all refunds for tax returns claiming these credits until mid-February.
The IRS cautions these filers that their tax refund probably won’t arrive in their bank account or prepaid card until Feb. 27 — and that’s assuming there are no processing issues with the tax return and that you chose direct deposit.
You can check on the status of your tax refund using the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool. It will give you the date that your refund will be issued once the IRS processes your return and approves your refund.
Armed with these important 2017 tax deadlines and dates, you can make sure you’re on track to meet them. To avoid fees, make sure you don’t miss a tax deadline.
Just remember that the earlier you file, the less stress you’ll experience. Not to mention, the more time you’ll have to put your tax refund to good use.