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Personal Tax -> Filing Your Individual Income Tax Return

Filing Your Income Tax Return

Federal tax returns are normally due on April 15th for the preceding taxation year if your tax year ends on December 31st, as per the IRS information When do I have to file?.  If you use a fiscal year (which is a year ending on the last day of any month other than December), your return is due on or before the 15th day of the fourth month after the close of your fiscal year.  If the 15th falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the tax return is due on the next business day.

COVID-19 Update: Most taxpayers who are US citizens and residents now have until July 15th to file their 2019 tax returns and pay any tax due, according to the IRS March 21st announcement and their Filing and Payment Deadline Updated Statement. This relief only applies to federal income tax returns and tax, not state tax payments, and not payments of any other type of federal tax.  Certain taxpayers who are US citizens and live outside the US normally have until June 15th to file their tax returns. This isn't mentioned in the IRS announcement.  A taxpayer can get an automatic 6-month extension to file the tax return if, no later than the date the return is due, Form 4868 (link at bottom) is filed.  See Automatic Extension on the IRS website.

Check your state income tax information to see if their deadline is also extended re COVID-19.  California has also extended their deadline to July 15, 2020.

Tax return forms from the IRS website can be used to file your income tax return manually.  Your return can also be filed electronically.

Tax Tip:  If you are getting a refund, file as early as possible.

Free Tax Filing

Free File - Income below $69,000 in 2019?  You can file online for free through the Free File program.  Income over $69,000 - free fillable forms are available for download.

IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation thru mid-April for those who generally make $56,000 or less in 2019, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance.  Find a location near you.

Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) - the TCE program offers FREE tax help to individuals age 60 or older, from January 1 to April 15 each year.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The Earned Income Tax Credit gives a tax break to workers with low and moderate incomes.  IRS says that 1 out of 5 workers fails to claim this credit!  If you worked and earned under $55,952 (married filing jointly, 3 children) in 2019, you may qualify for the EITC.  See Earned Income Tax Credit  on the IRS website for more information.

IRS Resources to help you with your tax return

Topic 301 - When, where and how to file

IRS e-file:  Filing your taxes online was never easier!

Publication 17 - Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals)   This is a tax guide provided by the IRS, which provides basic tax-filing information and tips.

Publication 554, Tax Guide for Seniors

Online learning and educational products

Form 4868 - Application for Automatic Extension of time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

IRS Educational Videos

IRS videos on YouTube

Revised: July 10, 2020


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