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When To File Your 2019 Income Taxes
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has given taxpayers until July 15 to file their 2019 taxes, and there is talk that the deadline might be extended even further. If you already filed your return, you are done. But what if you did not? Should you file now or wait until the last minute?
As with most things, the correct answer depends a lot on your particular circumstances. Are you having trouble getting some of the information you need, either because of the virus or for some other reason? Then you probably can’t file until closer to that deadline. But if your return is complete or nearly complete, it might be best to file as soon as possible, according to experts.
First, if you are getting a refund, the earlier you file, the earlier you will receive your money. The IRS is still accepting returns and processing refunds, but you won’t get your refund unless you file. If you have money coming, you will be able to invest it, to save it or to use it to help with expenses during this difficult time.
But even if you owe money, you can still file now. You are able to defer payment until the filing deadline – in this case, July 15. That means you will be done with the hassle of filing, and you will have time to decide how you are going to pay the amount you owe.
In addition, if you inadvertently file a tax return that is missing information, you probably will be able to correct that omission and get your return completed and filed before the deadline.
Some loans or grants require you to provide your most recent tax returns as part of your application. If you have not filed your 2019 return yet, your application for that loan or grant could be delayed. Even if you can use your 2018 application, it matters whether your 2018 numbers are substantially different from your 2019. If your financial picture was much better in 2019, using your 2019 return could improve your chances of getting the loan or grant.
Finally, these are stressful times for everyone. Getting your tax return in will give you one less thing to worry about during this time.
But filing your federal return is only part of the story. Most states that levy a state income tax have extended the deadline for filing the state return to match the federal deadline, but that is not true of every state. Check with your state to determine the deadline for filing your return and for making any payment due.
If you have any additional questions, talk to your tax advisor.