The 2020 tax season is officially on and you can begin filing your federal income tax return. The tax filing deadline is the same as any other year. Unless you file for an extension that gives you an additional six months, you must file your taxes by April 15.
The latest announcement made by the IRS postponed the tax payments for 90-days. So if you end up owing to the IRS as a result of lacking in enough withholdings, you can pay your taxes in 90 days after its due. This push back doesn’t include filing taxes. Therefore, file your taxes before the deadline or file for an extension if you need additional time to avoid penalties.
Filing for Tax Extension
One misconception American taxpayers have that filing an extension means you will pay your taxes at a later date. This is farther from the truth. Even if you file for an extension, you must pay your taxes by the April 15 deadline. The tax extension simply allows you to file your taxes at a later date.
Filing for tax extension has been made a lot easier over the years. Most recently, the IRS introduced the Direct Pay in which you can make a payment to the IRS an file an automatic extension. Assuming you can speculate how much your total tax bill is compared with your withholdings.
If you speculate that you will end up owing to the IRS, make sure you pay over what you owe. Since you will get any additional amount back in your tax return, it is going to be in your best interest to overpay.
How to use IRS Direct Pay?
Simply head over to IRS Direct Pay and click on Make a Payment. Keep in mind that you can only make electronic payments. Make sure to have your credit card or debit card ready. The IRS accepts pretty much all types of credit and debit cards.
Once you get your information ready, select Extension under Reason for Payment. For taxes you’ll pay in 2020, select the Tax Period for Payment as 2019 and continue. After you submit your information, you can then go ahead and place your tax extension payment. The IRS then will automatically file your extension and you will have until October 15 to file your taxes.
Using Form 1040 to File Taxes
Although paper filing tax return on paper isn’t recommended by the IRS, it can be convenient for you if your tax return is simple. The reason why the IRS doesn’t recommend paper-filing Form 1040 is that it takes significantly longer to process compared to e-filing. Also, paper Forms 1040 are more prone to errors but given your tax return is simple, you should be good to go.
If you haven’t filed your taxes yourself before or simply this is your first time filing a tax return, make sure to read our Form 1040 instructions.
As a side note know that your tax refund may be delayed. Not because of your tax return but the way you file it. Paper forms take an additional two to three weeks to process compared to electronic filing. So expect your tax refund a few weeks later than usual if you usually file taxes electronically.