The Tax Filing Deadline
The IRS extended the tax filing deadline from April 15 to May 17 in 2021. This provision only applies to individuals, not corporations. It means that payments aren’t due until May 17, either, with the exception of estimated tax payments. They’re still due on April 15.
Residents of Texas and surrounding states that were declared to be winter storm disaster areas have even more time to file their tax returns, until June 15, 2021.
Those living in other states can request a six-month extension from the IRS, pushing the filing deadline back to October 15 of this year, if they’re not ready to prepare and file their tax return by May 17. Its a simple matter of filing Form 4868 rather than a tax return by that date.
Payment of any taxes you owe for the year are still due by the May deadline, however. The IRS will charge interest and sometimes late payment penalties if you don’t pay by then.
Security Of Personal Information
We accept responsibility for the security of information once we receive it. We take precautions to ensure that there is no unauthorized access to your data, and ensure the confidentiality of data you send using NETFILE. We use sophisticated security and encryption to protect this website and your personal information.
We are also responsible for making sure personal and financial information is sent in an encrypted format between your computer and our servers. This ensures that computer hackers and other Internet users cant view or alter the data you send to us.
Tax software companies whose products are certified for NETFILE are not representatives of the CRA. You are not obliged to send personal information directly to the tax software company when you ask for software assistance. Email is not a secure method of communication. Sending personal information by email is a big concern and increases the risk of identity theft.
Do You Even Have To File Taxes
Even if you dont have to file taxes, you might want to do it anyway: You might qualify for a tax break that could generate a refund. So give tax filing some serious consideration if:
You qualify for certain tax credits.
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Additional Tax Filing Facts To Keep In Mind
- Up to 70% of taxpayers are eligible to file their taxes for Free. Commercial partners of the IRS offer free brand name software to 100 million individuals and families who make less than $62,000.
- Online tax forms allow you to have electronic versions of IRS paper forms regardless of your income. They can be prepared and filed by you if you are comfortable preparing your own income taxes.
- VITA and TCE provide free tax help to those who qualify. You can learn more about them by going to the IRS website and entering free tax prep in the search box. Alternatively, you can download the IRS2Go mobile app on your phone and find a free tax prep provider that way.
Protecting You From Scams And Fraud
We recognize that there are significant effects on victims of scams, fraud, and identity theft and we are doing our best to protect Canadians and ensure they receive the benefits to which they are entitled.
It is important to protect yourself from scams, and to know when and how the CRA might contact you. The Slam the scam webpage provides information about how to protect yourself from fraud and understand the ways in which the CRA will contact you.
The CRA also provides information to Canadians on securing their CRA accounts. As fraud prevention measures, we encourage you to:
- Use unique and complex passwords. Always use unique passwords for your CRA and online banking accounts. Do not reuse the same password for different systems.
- Create a PIN. We suggest you set up a personal identification number in My Account or with the help of one of our call centre agents, to help confirm your identity for future calls with the CRA.
- Sign up foremail notifications. We recommend you enable Email notifications. This service notifies taxpayers by email if their address or direct deposit information have been changed on CRA records. These notifications can act as an early warning for potential fraudulent activity.
- Monitor your account for suspicious activity. Check your online CRA accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. This includes unsolicited changes to your address and direct deposit information, or benefit applications made on your behalf.
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Free File Fillable Forms Is Now Open
Didnt Get Your Stimulus Payments? Claim the Recovery Rebate Credit.
If you arent required to file taxes and didnt receive all Economic Impact Payments, you can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit to get the full amount.
The fastest way to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit is to file a 2020 tax return with a Free File provider.
Filing Your Taxes When You Have No Income
Did you lose your job? Are you on maternity or paternity leave? Are you in-between jobs. Have decided to go back to school in order to further your career once you get back into the workforce? Or have you decided to take an extended sabbatical in order to refresh and take a breather from the everyday hustle and bustle of work life?
Whatever your reason for not working, you may be wondering whether or not its still necessary to file a tax return. You might think theres absolutely no reason to do so, especially since you did not make any money and therefore have nothing to pay income taxes against. In a sense, you may be right. You technically dont have to file your income taxes if you have no income to claim, but only if other circumstances dont apply.
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What Is A Child’s Income Tax Rate
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the rates for the kiddie taxes. During 2018 through 2025 all net unearned income was to be taxed using the brackets and rates for trusts and estates instead of parent’s individual rates. The new rates were as high as 37% on only $12,070 of income. This change proved so unpopular it was rescinded in 2020 and the old rules put back in place. Starting in 2020, income tax on unearned income over the annual threshold must be paid at the parent’s maximum tax income tax rate, not the rates for trusts and estates. For 2019 and 2018, parents have the option of using either their individual rates or the trust and estates rates. For details, see the article “The Kiddie Tax.”
For federal income tax purposes, the income a child receives for his or her personal services is the child’s, even if, under state law, the parent is entitled to and receives that income. Thus, dependent children pay income tax on their earned income at their own individual tax rates.
For more on tax rules for children, see IRS Publication 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents.
When Tax Filing And Processing Begins
The IRS began accepting and processing 2020 tax returns on February 12, 2021about three weeks later than the usual date, which is typically sometime during the last week of January. The agency indicated that it needed time to address tax law changes that went into effect on December 27, 2020, when the government provided additional benefits in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Most tax professionals and tax software companies, including those with the IRS Free File program, will prepare your tax return immediately if you have all your income documents in order.
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What Parents Need To Know
When it comes to helping your child file their income taxes, you should know the following:
- Legally, your child bears primary responsibility for filing and signing their own income tax returns. This responsibility can begin at any age, perhaps well before your child becomes eligible to vote.
- According to IRS Publication 929, “If a child can’t file his or her own return for any reason, such as age, the child’s parent, guardian, or another legally responsible person must file it for the child.”
- Your child can receive tax deficiency notices and even be audited. If this happens, you should immediately notify the IRS that the action concerns a child.
- According to IRS Publication 929, “The IRS will try to resolve the matter with the parent or guardian of the child consistent with their authority.”
What Happens When A Person Fails To File An Income Tax Return
In line with the tax filing season, you may also ask: What happens if you dont file your taxes on or before April 15?
As a general rule, dont forget that you will incur a penalty for not filing taxes, called failure-to-pay penalty.
This penalty is usually 5% of the unpaid taxes. The penalty charge will not exceed 25% of your total taxes owed.
But, if you filed your tax return 60 days after the due date or the extended due date, then you might have a bigger penalty.
Your penalty will now be the smaller of $135 or 100% of your total tax debt. This will accrue beginning on the day after the filing date.
Also, the IRS will charge you a failure-to-pay penalty if you fail to pay your declared taxes. This is usually ½ of 1% of your total taxes owed.
If you are facing both types of penalties, then the maximum penalty you need to pay for both is 5% of your tax debt.
But dont worry, we have prepared a tax preparation checklist for you so you can start planning your taxes early.
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How Can I File My Taxes
The IRS accepts tax returns filed one of two ways:
A reported 88% of individual tax returns are e-filed per year. Any tax return filed by a tax professional in an H& R Block tax office, using the H& R Block tax software, or through the H& R Block online filing program is usually e-filed. However, you can always choose to have your return printed to mail yourself.
E-file is the quickest filing method and typically helps you receive a tax refund faster.
Here’s When You Can Submit Your Tax Forms In 2021
Completing your tax returns isn’t ever a fun project, but many people are eager to get it done as soon as possible. Whether you’re waiting for a refund or simply want to get filing over with, there are lots of reasons you may be wondering when you can submit your tax return.
The good news is, the IRS has now announced when tax filing season opens in 2021 for the 2020 tax year. Here’s what you need to know.
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When Do I Get My Tax Refund
The answer to when will I get my tax refund depends from year to year.
Generally, the IRS has said that about 90% of refunds are issued within 21 days of when the return was received.
You can check on the status of your refund on the IRS website or at our Wheres My Refund page. Live updates will appear the same day e-file opens. Using this tool, you can easily track the progress of your return as it is processed.
Filing Requirements For Dependents
Taxpayers who are claimed as dependents are subject to different rules for filing taxes.
Dependents include children under the age of 19 , or who are permanently disabled along with qualifying relatives . When their earned income is more than their standard deduction, taxes have to be filed. A dependent’s income is unearned when it comes from sources such as dividends and interest.
Single, under the age of 65 and not older or blind, you must file your taxes if:
- Unearned income was more than $1,050
- Earned income was more than $12,000
- Gross income was more than the larger of $1,050 or on earned income up to $11,650 plus $350
If Single, aged 65 or older or blind, you must file a return if:
- Unearned income was more than $2,650 or $4,250 if youre both 65 or older and blind
- Earned income was more than $13,600 or $15,200 if youre both 65 or older and blind
If youre married, under the age of 65 and not older or blind, you must file a return if:
- Unearned income was more than $1,050
- Earned income was more than $12,000
- Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse itemizes deductions
- Your gross income was more than the larger of $1,050 or your earned income was $11,650 plus $350
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How Soon Can I File Taxes
The Internal Revenue Service has set the opening day of the 2021 filing season on Feb 12, 2021. Thats the day the IRS will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.
However, you can file your taxes early, and have your return automatically sent to the IRS the minute they begin accepting tax returns.
Which means youll get your refund back before everybody else.
Filing Your Income Tax And Benefit Return On Paper
Due to possible delays caused by COVID-19, the Canada Revenue Agency may take 10 to 12 weeks to process paper returns
We encourage you to use our digital services and file online this year. Filing online improves how fast your assessment is processed and how quickly you will receive refund or payments you are owed.
If you filed your return on paper last year, the CRA will automatically mail you the 2020 Income tax and benefit package by February 19, 2021, but it may arrive later due to COVID-19 delivery delays. We appreciate your patience.
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Watch For Your Income Documents To Arrive
You should receive forms about how much income youve earned from your employers and other income sources in January or February. If you are a full-time employee, you will receive a Form W-2 detailing your earnings, as well as which taxes were withheld. If you work freelance or on a contract, you may receive a Form 1099-NEC detailing what you earned. You may also receive documents showing dividends or interest earned on investments , or student loan interest youve paid . If youre a college student , youll receive a Form 1098-T that shows how much you paid in tuition, as well as any amounts you received from grants or fellowships, to help you figure out deductions and credits related to education expenses.
When Can You File For An Extension On Your Taxes
You can file an extension for filing your federal taxes up to the tax due date. Filing for an extension is free and it gives you until October 15 to file your return. Note that this only extends when your tax returns are due. If you owe taxes, your payment is still due on the federal tax filing deadline .
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What If You Never File Your Taxes
Always remember that the consequence for not filing a tax return ever will depend on your reason.
As a reminder, if you did not file your tax return for a specific year, the IRS will first send you an IRS Collection Notice. This will indicate your tax due amount and deadline.
But if you cannot afford to pay taxes, then dont worry. You can respond to the IRS by declaring bankruptcy.
Although, if you did not declare any reason, or if you forgot to file taxes, then the IRS may file a Substitute for Return.
The IRS will use any financial or non-financial information available to them to begin their assessment. Their assessment may lead to any the following: c. Forfeiture of tax refund d. Charges of tax evasion e. Revocation of passport
Substitute for Return Definition: The Substitute for Return is a type of tax return the IRS files for you if you do not file a tax return. This is based on the information that they have.
So what happens if you dont file your taxes? The IRS can certainly impose a number of penalties on you, but the agency also finds ways to aid you in making those payments.
What are your tips to be able to file taxes on time? Share your insights below!
Having Your Return Filed By An Accredited Person
You can have a person accredited by Revenu Québec file your return. Note that accredited persons who file more than 10 income tax returns are required to file them online.
Before having an accredited person file your return online, you must complete and sign two copies of the authorization form .You and the accredited person must each keep a copy of the form for a period of six years from the date on which the tax return was filed. Do not send us a copy unless we ask for it.
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