The first day to file 2021 taxes is announced by the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers who are required to file a federal income tax return must file and submit their 1040 by the April 15 deadline.
This is when the taxes are due for both filing and paying. For the 2020 tax season, the IRS postponed the deadline to file and pay to July 15. This was due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, it isn’t expected that the IRS will push the April 15 deadline further. So, you are most likely to pay taxes before April 15.
You can start filing a tax return as soon as between January 15 and January 31, 2021. The IRS will announce the first day to file taxes 2021 in late-December—right before the year ends. That’s of course unless you file for a tax extension. Just like any taxpayer, you can opt to file for a tax extension to request more time from the IRS.
By filing a tax extension, you will get six more months in addition to file your federal income tax return. This will only apply to the filing though. You are still required to pay any tax owed by April 15. If you end up owing to the IRS when you file your federal income tax return, you will have to pay interest and late fees.
You can avoid this by paying slightly more than what you’ve estimated to owe to the IRS.
Reasons for filing for a tax extension
There is no particular reason for a taxpayer to file for a tax extension. The IRS allows all taxpayers to file a tax extension. So, you aren’t required to state a reason as to why you’re filing a tax extension. The most common reason why taxpayers choose to file for a tax extension is not about the taxes owed.
All taxpayers are required to pay whether or not they file a tax extension. That said, filing a tax extension due to unpaid taxes isn’t going to change anything. You can file a tax extension if you haven’t received information returns you need to file a federal income tax return. This is mostly why thousands of taxpayers file for a tax extension.
If you know the exact amount of income earned, you may want to report this income yourself. That still poses a risk of computing adjusted gross income incorrectly.
An outcome of this would be filing an amended tax return to correct adjusted gross income, thus, the taxes owed. If there is a risk of you filing an amended tax return, we suggest waiting for the information returns. As soon as the April 15 deadline comes closer, simply, request an extension and get six more months to file your 2021 federal income tax return. Read more on tax extensions below.
Stimulus Payments and Tax Returns
If you received stimulus payments as part of the CARES Act known as the Economic Impact Payments, you will be effected when filing a tax return in 2021. Since the stimulus payments given were advance payments of refundable tax credits from prior year (2019 and 2018) tax returns, it will have an impact on how much you owe in taxes.
Learn more about stimulus payments.
Although not everyone is qualified for refundable tax credits on their 2019 and 2018 tax returns. For the 2020 taxes you will file in 2021 though, you are most likely to get the credit in the 2021 tax season. This credit is has a direct relationship with the Economic Impact Payments.
Minimum Income to File a Federal Income Tax Return
There is a minimum income to file a federal income tax return. The income limit is the standard deduction allowed for that tax year. For example, if you’re single and earned $10,000 during the course of the tax year regardless of someone claiming you as a dependent on their tax returns, you aren’t required to file a tax return.
If you were to file a tax return, you won’t owe anything to the IRS since your adjusted gross income will be below $0. So, this means more paperwork for the IRS for the same outcome.
Age, Blindness, and Widow(er)s
Age and blindness have a direct impact on taxes as well as being a widow(er). Those who are aged 65 and older get $1,650 added to their standard deduction if filing status is single or head of household. If married filing jointly though, this is $1,300 for each spouse. The same amounts apply to those who are considered legally blind for tax purposes.
2021 Standard Deduction for Aged 65 and Older and Legally Blind
|Age 65+ – Single or Head of Household||$14,250|
|Legally Blind – Single or Head of Household||$14,250|
|One Spouse is 65 and older, the other is under 65 or isn’t legally blind||$26,500|
|Both spouses are over 65 or one is legally blind||$27,800|
Tax Benefits of Qualifying Widow(er)s
Those who’ve lost a spouse get to keep their married filing jointly status for two more years. If you’ve lost a spouse, you will get to take the married filing jointly spouse even though you’re single. That said, the deductions and credits that are only available to joint filers can be claimed by widow(er)s who qualify.
Is there an adjusted minimum income to file taxes?
The short answer to this is no. It would come to mind that a taxpayer who’s aged 65 and older who’s also single with a net income under the standard deduction—for example, $13,000 would not have to file a tax return.
The income limits to file a tax return only applies to the base standard deduction, thus, a taxpayer who’s making more than the base standard deduction is required to file a tax return even if it’s less than the actual standard deduction they’re eligible to take.