Tax deadline Monday: 4 reasons why you should file your income tax return now
Meeting the extended 2021 IRS filing date matters for your tax refund, stimulus payment and the expanded child tax credit.
If you're still procrastinating on your 2020 income tax return, you might want to know that filing before the Monday, May 17 deadline could put money into your pocket. This year, filing on time can help you getof your . It can also help you get a if the IRS underestimated .
For the IRS to determine how much money you'll receive in 2021, the tax agency needs your 2020 tax information. We'll give you four reasons whycould benefit you, as well as how could affect you. And if you already filed your 2020 tax return but haven't received your refund, here's .
Another thing to know is that if you received, you might be entitled to a tax break. You might also be curious as to why that is important, how your tax return could and how to determine if the IRS is holding a tax refund by May 17. This story is updated regularly.
Reason 1: Get the right amount for your advance child tax credit
as part of the is expected go out in July, and you may be eligible to receive up to $3,600 over seven payments if . To determine , the IRS needs to know your . That's why it's important to file your 2020 taxes by May 17 so the IRS is using your most recent tax figures when it calculates your payments. Otherwise, your payment may be smaller than you are eligible for.
The IRS said qualifying families will have another opportunity to update changes to income, filing status and the number of qualifying children, with more information, but didn't provide specifics on how or when. We've reached out to IRS for details on how families will be able to inform the agency of changes.
Reason 2: Calculate your plus-up stimulus payment
If you've received youryou may be due a , too, but only if the IRS has your 2020 tax return. If the IRS based your payment on your 2019 tax return but your 2020 federal tax return shows you qualify for more money for that third payment, the IRS will send you the difference as a separate .
Reason 3: Recover your missing money from the first two stimulus payments
Your federal tax returns this year are also how you'll recover any money the IRS owes you from the. If you either didn't get a payment or got less than you were , you can as a rebate credit when you file this year. -- those who aren't normally required to file a tax return. If you wait to file your taxes closer to a new, later due date, you're also , which will be bundled .
Video: Stimulus plus-up payments: What you need to know
Reason 4: Figure out the correct amount for your third stimulus check
The IRS uses, if it has it, to determine the amount you'd get in your . Specifically, the IRS looks at the , on your 2020 form to help figure out your payment by using a .
But the tax agency will use your 2019 return if your 2020 taxes haven't been accepted by the time your payment is sent. That could work in your favor if your income from 2019 was lower than your income from 2020. (Youin most cases.)
However, if your 2020 tax return would, like if you , you'll want to file as soon as possible, so the IRS processes your 2020 taxes before releasing . Here's what should know.
Video: Your tax questions answered in 3 minutes
What about the deadline for my state's tax return?
This year, according to the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, 37 states have shifted their deadlines to May 17. Check with your state's tax agency for specific details.
Can I file an extension if I can't make the Monday deadline?
If you need time beyond May 17 you can, which will give you until Oct. 15 to complete and send your paperwork to the IRS. The IRS said individual taxpayers don't need to file forms or call the IRS to qualify for the extension, but you will need to to avoid penalties.
The new extension doesn't get you off the hook for estimated tax payments or postpone the deadline for money that you owe to the IRS. Those who make estimated payments still had a due date of April 15, and those who owe money on their taxes still need to pay them by Monday.
For more details on this year's taxes, we spell out theand .