IRS extends 2021 tax filing deadline to May 17
If you are still working on filing your taxes this year, you will have another month to file this year. The IRS announced that they will be moving the tax filing deadline from April 15 to May 17, 2021. In addition the deadline for tax payments, like quarterly self-employment taxes, has also been pushed to May 17.
Of course, there are always a multitude of options when filing your taxes. Here’s a few options:
The Best Free Options, $72,000 and under:
If you made less than $72,000 over 2020, you can visit the Free File page on the IRS site. That site provides nine software options on third party sites. Read each option carefully to see if you qualify. Many of the options are limited to a specific age range, state or even dollar figure.
For instance, the TurboTax’s popular software caps the limit at $39,000 rather than $72,000 unless you eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Alternatively, Free1040TaxReturn.com offers the $72,000 limit to anyone under 70, assuming you don’t live in fourteen excluded states.
Some of these sites will also offer free state returns, but others will charge. It’s recommended that you search your state’s website for information regarding free filing options for state taxes.
The Best Free Option, over $72,000:
If you make more than $72,000 in your household, you can also just enter your tax information into the paper forms using FreeFile. Of course, this is significantly more complex as you have to understand how tax forms work rather than answering questions in tax software. However, you can use your tax forms (completed with tax software from previous years) to figure out where to fill out data correctly.
In addition, this is the fifth year that Credit Karma has offered this service. According to the signup page, the service will be completely free. Specifically, they claim to offer free federal & state filing, no additional fees for using the service and have a support staff on hand to answer questions.
The Cheapest Software Options:
If your taxes are very complicated and requires lots of itemizing, you may want to invest in TurboTax. This would be more ideal for anyone that’s a small business owner or has to deal with investments like rental property. The downside is that you will have to pay up to $130 for the right software as an additional $50 when filing your state taxes.
There are also some perks to consider with more expensive software. Some tax software has an auto-import feature that pulls all W2 information in without having to enter it line by line. Other features included in some tax software are audit-checks, saving tax info online and the ability to load your refund onto a Visa prepaid card or a store gift card.
Here’s a quick breakdown on costs for the top five tax software options:
- TurboTax – Federal: $70 to $130
- TaxAct – Federal: $45 to $80
- TaxSlayer – Federal: $25 to $55
- H&R Block – Federal: $50 to $110
- Jackson Hewitt – Federal: $49 (includes state as well)
Bonus Saving Tip!
Check your credit card for % off bonuses or $ off bonuses when using a specific tax software option. For instance, American Express is offering a cardmember perk that offers 30% cashback when filing with TaxAct.
Do You Even Need to File?
Just a reminder, you may not need to file a tax return if you make less than $12,400 per year (under age 65). Here’s a chart that breaks down income thresholds for filing.
However, you may want to considering filing anyway, especially if you can tax advantage of credits like the American Opportunity credit in addition to qualifying for any COVID- related stimulus payments. That could help you get a little extra money back this year.
Are There Deals on Tax Software?
Yes. Turbotax and HR Block software packages will go on and off sale frequently starting in late January through the end of tax season. Look for deals in the Ben’s feed here from retailers such as Amazon and Newegg.