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And just like that, it's tax season again. The due date to file your return for the 2021 tax year falls on Monday, April 18, 2022. If you were a W-2 worker with only one employer last year, your taxes might be fairly straightforward, but things can get tricky for self-employed folks, side hustlers and freelancers. Various tax deadlines are sprinkled throughout the calendar year beginning as early as mid-January. Missing one could trigger financial repercussions later down the line.
Your taxes might also be more complicated if you received advanced child tax credit payments under the 2021 stimulus but then experienced an income jump in 2021 that made you retroactively ineligible. Taxpayers in this boat may have to pay back the IRS when they file their 2021 tax return. It's also worth noting that if you received unemployment benefits in 2021, that also counts as taxable income.
Understanding your tax liability can be an effort in organizing. To make things a little easier, we rounded up the most important 2022 tax deadlines to put on your calendar.
January 18, 2022
Final Estimated Tax Due Date for the 2021 Tax Year
People who receive a W-2 from their employer automatically have federal and state income taxes deducted from their paychecks, but freelancers and self-employed workers are required to pay estimated taxes once their tax liability reaches a certain point. You can estimate your payment amounts using IRS Form 1040-ES or consult a tax professional for help, but keep in mind that it's a ballpark calculation. When you file your actual return, you may end up taking tax deductions and tax credits that affect your final tax liability. You'll either get a tax refund or owe money to the IRS.
January 24, 2022
IRS Begins Accepting 2021 Tax Returns
There's no rule saying you have to wait until April to file your taxes. Those who have all the necessary paperwork could submit their 2021 tax return as early as January 24. If you file electronically and are enrolled in direct deposit, you'll typically receive your tax refund within three weeks if you qualify for one—though refunds may be slower to arrive this year, according to the IRS. Here are some of the documents you'll need to file your tax return:
- W-2s from your employers, or 1099s from your clients if you're self-employed.
- Documents pertaining to contributions made to tax-advantaged accounts. This includes 401(k)s, traditional IRAs, and health savings accounts (HSAs).
- Documents showing interest paid on student loans. For 2021 taxable income, you can deduct up to $2,500.
- Receipts for child care expenses in 2021. This can include day care, babysitters, and before- or after-school care. Parents and guardians may be eligible for a tax credit.
- If you're self-employed, receipts for any business expenses in 2021. These may help reduce your taxable income.
April 18, 2022
Due Date for 2021 Tax Returns, and First Estimated Tax Payment for 2022
April 18 is the tax filing deadline for your 2021 tax returns. If you're unable to meet it, you can look into getting an extension (more on this shortly). Be sure to plan ahead to reduce stress. Gather up all your necessary documents and block out time on your calendar. If you're working with a tax professional, send them any questions or concerns beforehand so they'll have time to find the answers. You'll also want to give yourself ample time if you're opting for do-it-yourself tax software.
June 15, 2022
Due Date for Second Estimated Tax Payment for 2022
September 15, 2022
Due Date for Third Estimated Tax Payment for 2022
October 17, 2022
Last Day to File Your 2021 Tax Return With an Extension
In a perfect world, we'd all complete and submit our paperwork to the IRS by the April tax deadline—but sometimes life happens. If you're unable to get it all done in time, rest easy knowing that you can buy yourself six more months by filing an extension. This would put your due date at October 17. During last year's tax-filing season, the IRS predicted that 16 million taxpayers would end up getting an automatic extension.
It's important to clarify that an extension simply gives you more time to get your paperwork ironed out and submitted. If you owe money, you'll still have to make good on your tax liability by the April 18 tax deadline. A tax professional can help you estimate how much you owe before you file, or you can do the math yourself using line 13 of Form 1040-ES.
If you end up overpaying, you'll get a refund when you eventually file; you'll owe money if you underpaid. Failing to pay your taxes won't directly affect your credit, but you can expect the IRS to hit you with fees. The penalty is 0.5% of unpaid taxes per month until it's settled (fees cap at 25%). Eligible taxpayers may choose to enroll in an IRS payment plan.
Important Tax Filing Dates for Businesses
Just like individual citizens, businesses also have to pay taxes. Business owners should note the following tax deadlines for 2022:
- January 31, 2022: If you had a business with employees in 2021, this is the day 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, 2022: Tax filing deadline for S-corporations and partnerships to file their 2021 business returns.
- April 15, 2022: Corporations must file their 2021 business tax returns by this date.
- September 15, 2022: Final day for S-corporations and partnerships to file their 2021 business tax returns with an extension.
- October 17, 2022: Last day for corporations to file their 2021 business tax returns if they received an extension.
Getting clear on your tax obligations can help you avoid IRS penalties and keep your financial house in order. It goes hand in hand with maintaining strong credit. Experian understands this, and allows you to check your credit score and credit report for free with just a few clicks.