If you're wondering when tax day is this year, don't overthink it: Monday, April 15, is the day your taxes must be filed to Uncle Sam in 2019.
While that might sound obvious, for the past two years it was delayed as a result of Emancipation Day, a Washington, D.C, holiday that celebrates the freeing of enslaved people in the city.
But this year, taxpayers aren't being gifted any extra days—unless they live in Maine or Massachusetts. These states both celebrate Patriots' Day, a state holiday commemorating the battles of Concord and Lexington on Monday, April 15. Since Emancipation Day this year falls on Tuesday, April 16, taxpayers in these states will not have to file until Wednesday, April 17.
If you end up procrastinating, there's no need to worry. You can still file for an extension on the day of 15th if you need to. Plus, filing for an extension is simple and only takes a few minutes. It offers you the benefit of an additional six months to get your papers in order and file by October.
Filing for an extension does not exempt you from paying any taxes you may owe, however, so make sure to make any estimated payments by April 15, even if you file for one. Many people who are self-employed must pay estimated taxes quarterly, so if you work for yourself and file for an extension, be sure to make any payments as you regularly would.
Of course, just because you can put off paying taxes doesn't mean you should, says Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified public accountant and TurboTax expert.
"When you file earlier, it gives you a chance to plan ahead if you owe money, and you can pay it off instead of waiting until the last minute," she says. Plus, with President Donald Trump's sweeping tax reforms, you may need more time to prepare for any previously unanticipated financial scenarios brought about by the new tax code.
One last tip for your doing taxes before this year's April 15 deadline hits: Contribute more to your IRA up until the 15th and it may help reduce your tax bill, Greene-Lewis says. Just make sure to tell your account administrator that your IRA contribution is for tax year 2018 so it isn't applied to 2019 by mistake.
Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.
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