The 2019 tax filing season started on Monday, January 28. That’s when the Internal Revenue Service started accepting and, more importantly, processing tax returns.
Mark your calendars for this year’s key filing dates:
January 28, 2019: Filing season 2019 begins. If a taxpayer filed early, either using Free File, tax software on their own or with the help of a paid tax preparer, the returns have been on hold and should now be sent and enter the IRS processing system.
January 31, 2019: This is the deadline for employers to mail their workers the Forms W-2 and for 1099 forms to be issued with details of contract payments, investment income and retirement plan distributions.
Today also is important if a taxpayer did not make their last 2018 tax year estimated tax payment by January 15. If they file the full tax return for the year by January 31 and pay any tax due with the filing, they will avoid any penalty for late payment of the last installment. This is a little less pressing this year, since the IRS has announced it’s granting some underpayment leeway due to confusion created by the changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
February 15, 2019: For financial institutions, this is the day they must mail 1099-B forms with information on stock, bonds or mutual fund sales made through a brokerage account. Also, due out today are 1099-S related to real estate transactions and some 1099-MISC forms.
February 15 also is the earliest day that the IRS can issue federal tax refunds to filers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the refundable part of the child tax credit.
March 15, 2019: This is the filing deadline for corporate tax returns submitted on Form 1120S and pay any tax due. It’s also the deadline for the filing of partnership tax returns, Form 1065, or to file Form 2553 to elect to be treated as an S corporation beginning with the current calendar year. If the business cannot meet the deadline, file Form 7004 to get an automatic extension to file (length of time varies according to entity and tax year selection) by today.
April 1, 2019: If the taxpayer turned 70½ last year and have not yet taken their first required minimum distribution (RMD) from a tax-deferred retirement accounts (IRAs) then, they must do so by today.
April 15, 2019: This is the annual deadline to file individual tax returns for the prior tax year using Form 1040. Or, as with business filers, file Form 4868 by today to get an automatic six-month extension to complete the tax paperwork. Note, however, that this extension is just for filing forms. Any tax that is owed or a good estimate of the amount due must be paid by April 15. If not, added penalty charges may apply.
April 15 also is the last day to make a contribution to an IRA, either traditional or Roth, as well as to your health savings account (HSA). It is also the due date for contributions to self-employed SEP-IRA or solo 401(k) retirement accounts. However, if you get an extension to file your return, your opportunity to contribute to some self-employment retirement plans also is extended until October 15.
And if you make estimated tax payments, April 15 is the due date for the first 1040-ES payment for the 2019 tax year.
April 17, 2019: For taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts, the federal tax return filing deadline is today. These two extra days to finish the 2018 taxes is because April 15 was Patriots Day, an official holiday in those two New England states. And since April 16 is Emancipation Day, an official holiday in the District of Columbia, the IRS headquarters there is closed, meaning Maine and Massachusetts filers get the extra, extra day.
June 17, 2019: This is the deadline for the second-quarter of 2019 estimated tax payment. It’s normally on June 15, but that’s a Saturday this year, so it moves to the next business day.
Today also is the deadline for U.S. citizens living abroad to file individual tax returns or file Form 4868 for an automatic 4-month extension.
September 16, 2019: The third-quarter estimated tax payment for 2019 is due today. Just like happened with the second 1040-ES payment, this one usually due on September 15 got pushed to the next business day because it fell on a weekend day.
Today also is the deadline for corporate taxpayers (those filing forms 1120, 1120A or 1120S) to file those returns if they got an extension back in March.
October 15, 2019: The big day for filing procrastinators. Today is the deadline to file individual 2018 tax year returns that were extended back in April. The IRS will accept e-filed returns for the prior year through today. After the filing deadline, all tax returns will need to be mailed into the IRS.
Today also is the last day that a self-employed individual who got an extension to file can open or contribute to a SEP-IRA or solo 401(k).
IRS Publication 509 has a complete list of federal tax deadlines for individuals, businesses and employers.