Tax Season 2019: Important Dates and Deadlines

Tax season is here!  The IRS has announced that they will begin accepting electronically filed and paper returns for TY 2019 beginning January 27th.  Generally, most states follow the IRS’s schedule and will begin accepting electronic returns on the same day.  Even though we’re still a few weeks away from filing returns, you don’t have to wait until the 27th to submit your tax documents to us.  In fact, it would make our day if you got things to us early!  We will go ahead and prepare your state and federal returns and hold them in our system until efile opens on the 27th.

When deciding how to file your return, keep in mind that electronic filing is the fastest and most secure option.  Not only does it drastically speed up processing time, but it also better protects your personal data. The same is true for direct deposit: DD refunds are processed much more quickly than paper checks and the risk of interception (a common tax season scam) is eliminated.  At Levesque & Associates, we always file returns electronically if it’s allowable (there are some situations which require paper filing) and we always encourage clients to take advantage of direct deposit for refunds.

Remember, the personal filing deadline will be April 15th, which falls on a Wednesday this year.

Other deadlines:

  • 4th quarter 2019 estimated payments – January 15
  • 1099s and W-2s – January 31
  • Partnerships and S-Corps – March 16 (the 15th is a Sunday)
  • Trusts, Estates, and C-Corps – April 15
  • Non-profits – May 15

Extension deadlines:

  • Partnerships and S-Corps – September 15
  • Personal, Trusts, Estates, and C-Corps – October 15
  • Non-profits – November 16 (the 15th is a Sunday)

 

Important Reminder: if you cannot file your return by the deadline, be sure to file an extension.  The penalties for not filing can be very high.  Additionally, if you are not able to pay your balance due, you should still file your return.  The penalties on late payment are not as steep as those on failure to file.

 

Learn more about managing your balance due and available payment plan options in our previous blog post, “Struggling with Tax Debt?  Here are Some Tips.”

 

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New Tax Brackets – Tax Years 2019 and 2020

Most years, slight changes are made to tax rates.  These updates are generally minor and reflect changes in inflation.  Major tax code revisions, like those that went into place for 2018 under the new tax law (TCJA), are rare.

For tax years 2019 and 2020, the IRS has made tweaks to roughly 60 tax provisions.  Below are a few highlights that will affect the largest percentage of taxpayers.  If you have specific questions related to your tax situation, be sure to consult with your tax professional.

New Tax Brackets: 

Other changes:

1) Standard Deductions: For tax year 2019 (i.e. the returns you will file over the next few months), the standard deduction for single filers rises to $12,200.  For married/joint filers, it will be $24,400.  For tax year 2020, the amounts will increase again to $12,400 and $24,800 respectively.  For heads of households, the standard deduction increases from $18,000 in 2018 to $18,350 (2019) and $18,650 (2020).  Remember, you take whichever is higher when comparing the standard deduction to your itemized deductions.

2) Earned Income Credit (EIC): 

2019 (investment income must be $3600 or less for the year)


2020 (investment income must be $3650 or less for the year)


3) Adoption Credit: Taxpayers can receive a credit of up to $14,080 for qualified adoption expenses of a special needs child paid in 2019.  For tax year 2020, the credit increases to $14,300.

4) Healthcare coverage: The penalty for not having the minimum healthcare coverage was $695 on your 2018 return.  For 2019 and beyond, there is $0 penalty.

5) SALT Cap: For the time being, the cap on the deductible portion of State and Local Tax (SALT) will remain unchanged at $10,000 annually.  Repealing the $10,000 cap has been discussed in the House so changes may be coming down the line.

Questions about changes to these or other tax provisions?  Get in touch with Levesque & Associates!