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The 2023 tax season is officially upon us. Whether you're a regular 9-to-5 employee or a self-employed entrepreneur, you'll probably need to file an annual tax return by mid-April. But that isn't the only important date to put on your calendar. Here are some other key tax deadlines to know for 2024. Being aware of them can help you avoid penalties and stay on the good side of the IRS.
When Are Taxes Due in 2024?
The deadline to file your 2023 individual tax return is April 15, 2024 (or April 17 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts). If you need more time, you can request a six-month extension that delays your deadline until October 15. Business tax returns are due on a different timeline. Filing dates vary depending on the way the business is structured.
What Is a Tax Return?
A tax return reports your income and deductions to the IRS. (Deductions lower your taxable income, while tax credits directly reduce your tax bill and can result in a cash payout if they are considered refundable.) Your tax return can also help you calculate how much income tax you owe for the year.
Workers who receive W-2 forms typically pay taxes throughout the year by having money withheld from their paychecks. Self-employed folks and freelancers, on the other hand, are expected to make estimated tax payments every quarter. If you end up paying too much in taxes, you'll receive a tax refund after filing your return.
Key Tax Deadlines to Know in 2024
- January 16: Due date for final estimated tax payment for 2023. This tax payment applies to income earned from September 1 through December 31, 2023.
- January 29: IRS begins accepting 2023 tax returns. You don't have to wait until April to file your tax return. If you're due a tax refund, filing sooner can speed up your payment.
- April 15: Due date in most states to file your 2023 tax return. Give yourself plenty of time to gather the necessary documents. That includes W-2s from your employers, or 1099s from your clients if you're self-employed. You might also need documents related to contributions you made to tax-advantaged retirement accounts, as well as documents showing interest paid on student loans. Don't forget about receipts for business expenses if you work for yourself.
- April 15: First estimated tax payment due for 2024. Self-employed workers are expected to make estimated quarterly tax payments. This first payment applies to income earned from January 1 through March 31, 2024.
- June 17: Due date for second estimated tax payment for 2024. This estimated tax payment applies to income earned from April 1 through May 31.
- September 16: Due date for third estimated tax payment for 2024. This estimated tax payment applies to income earned from June 1 through August 31.
- October 15: Last day to file your 2023 tax return with an extension. Keep in mind that even with an extension, you'll still need to estimate your 2023 tax liability and pay it by the April 15 deadline. A tax professional can help you estimate how much you owe before you file, or you can calculate it yourself using Form 1040-ES.
Important Tax Filing Dates for Businesses in 2024
- January 31: If you had a business with employees in 2023, this is the date you must submit your W-2 forms to the IRS. You must furnish copies to your employees by this deadline as well. January 31 is also the due date to submit 1099 forms issued to independent contractors.
- March 15: This is the deadline for S-corporations and partnerships to file their 2023 business tax returns.
- April 15: Corporations must file their 2023 business tax returns by this date.
- September 16: This is the final day for S-corporations and partnerships to file their 2023 business tax returns with an extension.
- October 15: This is the last day for corporations to file their 2023 business tax returns if they received an extension.
Frequently Asked Questions
You could face penalties and interest if you underpay your taxes. The penalty is 0.5% of unpaid taxes per month until the debt is settled (fees are capped at 25%). Eligible taxpayers can enroll in an IRS payment plan, which cuts the penalty in half. The interest rate on unpaid taxes is currently 8% per year, compounded daily.
If you file electronically and have a tax refund coming your way, it will likely be issued within three weeks if you're enrolled in direct deposit. You can expect your refund in about six to eight weeks if you file a paper tax return.
- Estimate your tax liability, which is your total income tax after deducting eligible tax credits. (You may want to consult a tax professional to help you with this bit.)
- Subtract any taxes you've already paid, either through payroll withholding or estimated tax payments.
- Make a full or partial electronic payment to the IRS and indicate that it's for an extension. Alternatively, you can request an extension online through IRS Free File or submit Form 4868.
The Bottom Line
Whether you're filing a tax return for yourself or a business, paying your taxes on time can prevent unwanted fees and penalties. Be sure to keep these important tax deadlines on your calendar. Working with a tax professional is another way to stay in the good graces of the IRS.