2020 is an extraordinary year for everyone, but the year will soon come to an end. The New Year is coming, and so is the new tax season.
Each year, The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announces the date it will begin accepting and processing individual tax returns. And it’s usually the second-to-last or last week in January. For example, this year on Monday, January 27, 2020.
While we know you might be concentrating on other things right now, it is never too early to start preparing and learning things beforehand. Just take a few minutes to read this article and see what it helps.
1. Get IRS Tax Calendar
The IRS requires individuals to stick to the tax filing deadlines. And violation of the terms will lead to penalties which could have been avoided. So the main thing to keep in mind is the deadlines for submission. See below for the due dates of some key forms. For more information, click here.
- January 15
Individuals: Make a payment of your estimated tax for 2020 if you didn't pay your income tax for the year through withholding (or didn't pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES. This is the final installment date.
- February 1
All businesses: Give annual information statements to recipients of certain payments you made during 2020. You can use the appropriate version of Form 1099 or other information return.
- February 16
Individuals: If you claimed exemption from income tax withholding last year on the Form W-4 you gave your employer, you must file a new Form W-4 by this date to continue your exemption for another year.
- March 15
Partnerships: File a 2020 calendar year return (Form 1065). Provide each partner with a copy of their Schedule K-1, Partner's Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc., or substitute Schedule K-1. To request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the return, file Form 7004.
- April 15
Individuals: File a 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the return, file Form 4868 and pay what you estimate you owe in tax to avoid penalties and interest.
2. Collect Everything in Need
It's time to start thinking about collecting tax and financial documents, statements, and receipts. To avoid missing necessary documents, a more convenient way is to review your tax return last year, but still remember to keep updated about new tax changes released on the official IRS website.
Generally, paperwork for individuals includes a Form W-2 that your employer must provide you, as well as the Form 1099-MISC if you also work as an independent contractor. If you do not receive related forms in time, contact the human resources department. And watch out for Form 1095 series detailing whether you and your family members had coverage throughout the year. You’ll need them to file those state tax returns.
After you have gathered all the needed tax documents from multiple sources in hand, completing Form 1040 can be much easier and less troublesome.
3. Find Somebody/Something to Help
If you still feel that the tax filing is annoying, you can certainly seek professional help. But it should also be noted that please prepare the materials in advance so that you can make an appointment with the tax consultant earlier and at your desired time.
If you decide to complete all the procedures independently and save yourself a fortune, in addition to paying more attention to the IRS website, when you actually fill out the form, you will need a powerful PDF reader & editor, such as PDF Reader Pro.
For the upcoming tax season, PDF Reader Pro has prepared a series of commonly used tax forms with a detailed description for everyone to view and download. More importantly, PDF Reader Pro lets you fill out tax forms effortlessly and helps organize documents/forms for handy access. As the tax season 2021 approaches, try PDF Reader Pro for a better filling & filing experience. And download is free.
Last but not least, preparing and learning things beforehand can not only give you a better chance to get your return earlier, but also help protect your tax identity. why? Because one of the best ways to combat identity theft is to file early, apart from being alert about sharing personal information and checking your credit report regularly.