While the single most important day of the tax season is April 15, there are a number of important dates to consider each year. A tax calendar is a handy reference document, which can help all taxpayers avoid both penalties as well as late fees.
In this article, we're going to provide a tax calendar that outlines most of the important dates taxpayers should be aware of each year. Instead of providing one large chronological outline of all these dates, we're going to break the timelines down into smaller groups. These groupings include those associated with estimated taxes, e-file deadlines, dates associated with filing tax returns, as well as contributions to retirement plans.
Important Income Tax Dates
As the saying goes, one of the certain things in life is taxes. Awareness of certain due dates will help individuals to avoid penalties. Instead of publishing a calendar for specific tax years, like 2020 or 2021, the approach here is to summarize important dates, along with the appropriate deadline "rules." In this manner, the exact dates can be determined for any calendar year.
In the sections below, we're going to summarize dates that pertain to the following:
- Tax Returns and Extensions
- Payment of Estimated Taxes
- Retirement Accounts
- Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) e-file Tax Return Filing System
- Employees Working for Tips
Tax Return Calendar
This first set of dates summarizes the IRS requirement for filing tax returns, Form 4868 (extensions), and the payment of estimated federal income taxes.
April 15th Tax Return Deadline Rule
If the 15th of April falls on a Friday, the deadline will be Monday, April 18th. If the 15th falls on a Saturday, the deadline will be Tuesday, April 18th. If the 15th falls on a Sunday, the deadline will be Tuesday, April 17th. These rules have been in place since 2005, when Emancipation Day (April 16th) became a public holiday in Washington D.C.
Individuals that are required to pay estimated taxes know the year is broken down into four payment periods. Failure to pay sufficient income taxes by each of the due dates can result in a penalty. The payment periods, as well as the due dates, appear in the table below.
Note: If the deadline to pay estimated taxes falls on a legal holiday, Saturday, or Sunday, then the payment is considered on time if it's made by the next business day.
There are surprisingly few dates that retirees need to worry about each year, and maybe that's by design. Generally, retirement plans such as 401(k) or 403(b) accounts have contribution limits in a given year. One of the more generous deadlines applies to contributions to a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA, which is April 15 of the following calendar year.
The calendar for retirement accounts appears in the table below.
The IRS offers taxpayers the ability to file their returns electronically each year. All of the tax forms that are needed to complete a return can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection. The e-file system is fast, flexible, reliable, and convenient. The following are the deadlines associated with that process.
Employees Working for Tips
Finally, anytime a total of $20 or more in tips is received while working for one employer, the total of all tips received in that month must be reported to the employer. This includes tips received in cash or those received when a customer adds a tip to their credit card or debit card charges.
These tips must be reported to the employer by the 10th day of the month. For example, if Ann received $20 or more in tips in January, she must report them to her employer by February 10.
Note: If the 10th day of the month falls on a legal holiday, Saturday, or Sunday, then the reporting deadline is the next business day that is not a legal holiday, Saturday, or Sunday. Tips are reported to employers using Form 4070.
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