It’s not that long until April 17th and it’s the deadline for more than just filing your tax return.
The typical tax deadline is April 15th. This year that date fell on a Sunday, so it was assumed that the tax deadline would be April 16th. Sometime in January, the IRS realized that April 16th is a legal holiday (Emancipation Day) in Washington, D.C. Due to some federal statute and since the IRS is located in D.C. , you don’t have to file until April 17th.
Here’s a list of “tax actions” that must be completed by April 17th!
ü File your federal & state tax returns or extensions
ü Pay your balance due
ü Pay your 1st quarter tax estimates
ü Contribute to your IRA /Roth IRA account for 2006
ü Contribute to your 2006 Coverdell ESA account
ü Contribute to your 2006 HSA
Filing your federal and state tax returns:
Your federal tax return is due by April 17th. If you’re mailing your return on the 17th, check to see if the local post office has extended hours on that day. But we highly recommend that you file electronically. You won’t have to wait in line at the post office and you’ll get your refund quicker.
Most states have the same due date of April 17th but not all of them.
If you can’t get your return completed in April, you are not alone. The IRS expects over 9 million taxpayers to file the extension form. If you mail a Form 4868 by April 17, 2007, you’ll receive an automatic 6 month extension for filing your tax return. Your extended due date will be October 15, 2007.
To complete Form 4868 in TurboTax, select the Federal Taxes tab, and then select Miscellaneous. Click on Select Specific Topics and then click the Start or Revisit button next to File an Extension. Follow the interview screens.
Note: Form 4868 does not extend the time for you to pay your balance due.
When filing a state extension, some states have their own extension form and other states accept the federal Form 4868. To see how your state handles an extension, click on 2006 State Tax Information and select your state.
Paying the balance due:
If you aren’t getting a refund this year, remember that not only do you have to file the return (or your extension) by April 17th, you have to pay the balance due.
If you’ve electronically filed your return and had a balance due, don’t forget to mail in your check to the IRS no later that April 17th! It’s not unusual for a taxpayer to electronically file their return before the due date and forget that they need to mail in their balance due by the deadline. The IRS doesn’t forget. If you mail your balance due late, you’ll probably receive an IRS letter asking for penalties and interest. Ugh!
If you’re filing an extension, remember that you still have to pay your balance due by April 17th!
2007 1st Quarter Estimate:
If you are paying estimates for 2007, keep in mind that your 1st quarter estimate is due April 17, 2007.The remaining estimates are due June 15, 2007, September 17, 2007, and January 15, 2008. There is a separate estimated tax payment voucher for each due date. Write “2007 Form 1040-ES” on your check.
2006 IRA / Roth IRA Contributions:
April 17th is also the latest date that you can make a 2006 contribution to your traditional IRA account (deductible or non deductible) and/or Roth IRA accounts.
This date is particularly important if you’ve already filed your 2006 return showing an IRA deduction but haven’t contributed the IRA money yet. It will be easier to contribute to your IRA account now than to amend the return and remove the IRA deduction.
When you write your check for your 2006 IRA contribution, be sure to note that it’s for 2006.
If you plan to wait until the last minute to make your contribution, check with your investment company on their deadlines for receiving 2006 contributions and their mailing recommendations such as return receipt, Fed-Ex, etc. Often times, even though the check is postmarked April 17th, if your investment company hasn’t received the check by a certain date (like April 27th), it’s considered a 2007 contribution.
2006 Coverdell (ESA) Contributions:
Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) contributions for 2006 are due by April 17, 2007. For detailed information on a Coverdell ESA, see IRS Tax Topic 310.
If you are donating to a Qualified Tuition Program (QTP), sometimes called “Section 529 Plans,” check your plan to see if you can contribute to your plan for 2006 after 12/31/2006. Most of these QTP plans impose a December 31st cutoff for the yearly contribution.
2006 Health Savings Account (HSA) Contributions:
Like the ESA contributions, your 2006 HSA contributions deadline is April 17, 2007. To understand more about HSA, see IRS Publication 969.
Additional Last Minute Filing Tips
If you haven’t filed yet, there are more great tips on a TurboTax podcast. Just click here on Tax Deadline Tips and listen!
And good luck on your return!