New Simplified Format for 2018 Form 1040

2018 Filing – New Format

The IRS has sought to simplify the main page of the Form 1040 for 2018.

Therefore, when you go to start the preparation of your 2018 return, you will note that the content of the form is different.

This is because quite a bit of the information is instead included on supporting schedules, and these feed into the main form.

Up to six schedules are available, but not all of them will be applicable to each individual taxpayer.

Care will need to be taken to complete the applicable schedules, and to transfer the data to the cover page Form 1040.

 

Commencement of 2018 US Tax Filing

Filing for 2018

Despite the partial shutdown of US Government services, the IRS have confirmed the tax filing season for 2018 will commence on 28th January 2019.

The last filing date for Forms 1040 will be 15th April 2019.

Overseas Filers will continue to receive an automatic two month extension to file to 15th June 2019.

Payment of Tax

Please note if a tax liability is anticipated for 2018, the payment date is still 15th April.

Payment after this date will attract interest and late payment penalties.

Tax Time Guide: Request online extension, get 6 more months to file

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers who may have trouble meeting the April 17 tax filing deadline that Free File provides an easy, online option to get more time. Taxpayers submitting Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, will automatically be granted a six-month filing extension. By using Free File on IRS.gov, the process is free, simple and fast.

This is the seventh in a series of nine IRS news releases called the Tax Time Guide, designed to help taxpayers navigate common tax issues.

The IRS offers the extra time to file, automatically, to all taxpayers requesting it. A filing extension allows taxpayers until Oct. 15 to gather, prepare and file their taxes with the IRS. However, it does not extend the time to pay any tax due.

Applying for an extension requires answering a few questions on Form 4868. Part I of the form asks personal information such as name, address and Social Security number. Part II is tax related and asks about estimated tax liability, payments and residency. By going through Free File on IRS.gov, taxpayers can make the request electronically for free. Besides Free File, taxpayers can request an extension through a paid tax preparer, tax-preparation software or by mailing in a paper Form 4868. Tax forms can be downloaded from IRS.gov/forms.

Other fast, free and easy ways to get an extension include using IRS Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by paying with a credit or debit card. There is no need to file a separate Form 4868 extension request when making an electronic payment and indicating it is for an extension. The IRS will automatically count it as an extension.

Direct Pay is available online and on the IRS2Go app. It’s free, does not require preregistration and gives instant confirmation when taxpayers submit a payment. It also provides the option of scheduling a payment up to 30 days in advance. Taxpayers using a credit or debit card can pay online, by phone or with the IRS2Go app. The IRS does not charge any fees for this service but the card processor does.

The IRS emphasizes that a request for an extension provides extra time to file a tax return, but not extra time to pay any taxes owed. Payments are still due by the original deadline. Taxpayers should file even if they can’t pay the full amount. By filing either a regular return or requesting an extension by the April 17 filing deadline, they will avoid the late-filing penalty, which can be 10 times as costly as the penalty for not paying.

Taxpayers who pay as much as they can by the due date reduce the overall amount subject to penalty and interest charges. The interest rate is currently five percent per year, compounded daily. The late-filing penalty is typically five percent per month and the late-payment penalty is normally 0.5 percent per month.

Other options to pay such as getting a loan or paying by credit card may help resolve a tax debt. Most people can set up an installment agreement with the IRS using the Online Payment Agreement tool on IRS.gov.

Other taxpayers who get more time to file without having to ask for extensions include:

  • U.S. citizens and resident aliens living and working abroad have until June 15 to file their tax returns. However, interest is still charged on any tax payments made after April 17.
  • Disaster victims, including those in American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, have until June 29, 2018 to file and pay. Similarly, taxpayers in parts of California have until April 30, 2018 to file and pay. For information about this and other disaster relief, see the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
  • Members of the military on duty outside the United States and Puerto Rico receive an automatic two-month extension to file. Those serving in combat zones have 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file tax returns and pay any taxes due. Details are available in the Armed Forces’ Tax Guide Publication 3.

In addition to having payment options, taxpayers who find that they can’t pay what they owe should know that the IRS will work with them. Taxpayers can find answers to questions, forms and instructions and easy-to-use tools online at IRS.gov anytime. No appointments needed and no waiting on hold.

Time is running out to file 2014 tax returns worth $1 billion in refunds

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding an estimated 1 million taxpayers that time is running out to file a 2014 tax return and claim refunds totalling more than $1 billion. To claim any refund due, taxpayers must file their 2014 federal tax return by April 17, 2018.

There is no penalty for filing a late return for those receiving refunds. The law provides most taxpayers with a limited window of opportunity for claiming a tax refund. If they do not file a tax return within three years to claim a refund, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.

The IRS estimates the median potential refund for 2014 is $847. By failing to file a tax return, people stand to lose more than just their refund. Many low- and moderate-income workers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2014, the credit was worth as much as $6,143.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2014 tax refund that it may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2015 and 2016. In addition, any refund will be applied to amounts owed to the IRS or a state tax agency and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.

Taxpayers who are unable to get Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for 2014, 2015 or 2016 from their employer or other payer should act now to order a wage and income transcript using the Get Transcript Online tool at IRS.gov.

IRS transcripts are often used to validate past income to help with tax preparation. Taxpayers can also use Get Transcript by Mail or call the IRS automated phone transcript service at 800-908-9946 to order a tax return or tax account transcript be sent by mail. Transcripts arrive in five to 10 calendar days at the address the IRS has on file for the requester.

Because software is no longer available for tax year 2014, prior year tax forms (such as 2014 Form 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ) and instructions are available to be printed from the Prior Year Forms and Instructions page on IRS.gov or ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by the tax filing deadline, which this year is Tuesday, April 17.

See IRS: Refunds worth $1.1 billion waiting to be claimed by those who have not filed 2014 federal income tax returnsfor state-by-state estimates of the number of taxpayers who may be due 2014 income tax refunds, the median and total potential refund amounts.