2020 Tax Year Income Tax Filing Deadline Extended

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on February 17, 2021 that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) also announced on February 17, 2021 that the California income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

Second Round of COVID-19 Stimulus Payments

Americans can expect to start seeing $600 in their bank accounts immediately as the federal government’s second round of stimulus payments are being sent out, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.

The direct deposits will continue into the first week of January, while paper checks will be mailed out beginning the second week of January.

The Covid-19 relief package provides individuals who meet income limits with $600; couples who meet income limits with $1,200; and eligible families with an additional $600 per child.

The $600 is half of what Americans received in the first round of stimulus payments Congress approved back in March. It took two weeks after that first Covid-19 relief bill was passed for the IRS to start sending out the money — but some eligible recipients still have not received it, months later.

An individual’s most recent tax returns determines their eligibility for the stimulus payment. The prior and current Stimulus payments are not subject to Federal or State Income Tax.

Most Social Security retirement and disability beneficiaries, railroad retirees and those receiving veterans’ benefits do not need take any action to receive a payment. Earlier this year, the IRS worked directly with the relevant federal agencies to obtain the information needed to send out the new payments the same way benefits for this group are normally paid. For eligible people in this group who didn’t receive a payment for any reason, they can file a 2020 tax return.

Anyone who made $75,000 or less as an individual or $150,000 as a couple would receive the full amount. This is based on your 2019 Adjusted Gross Income.

The prior and current Stimulus Payments being sent out are advances on a 2020 refundable tax credit, which will be based on 2020 income tax return filed. Therefore, if you made $75,000 or less during 2020, you would receive the first and second stimulus payment as a refundable tax credit, even though you made more than $75,000 in 2019. The credit will reduce one’s tax bill and if it exceeds what someone owes, it will increase their tax refund. This will all be handled on your 2020 income tax return.

When to File: Personal Income Tax Returns

Most individual wage earners will file a tax return once per year. The time for filing those returns is between January and April, and the returns will cover the period of the previous year. For example, in January to April of 2021, we will all be filing our personal income tax returns covering the year 2020.

If you’re a worker being paid a regular wage and are expecting a W-2 form from your employer at the end of the year, you can likely file your tax returns as soon as you have that W-2 along with any other tax forms you are expecting (such as 1099, 1098, and health benefit information). Tax forms are due from your employers by January 31st, but some are able to get it to you long before then.

If you’re expecting a refund, you probably want to file as soon as you have the paperwork together. The quicker you file, the quicker you’ll get your refund.

If you’re expecting to owe more taxes than your employer withheld throughout the year, you have until April 15th to file your tax return and submit payment without a penalty. Even if you don’t have the money to pay what you owe, you should still file a return to avoid a further penalty for not-filing. If you can’t afford your tax bill, you may be eligible for a payment plan or a compromise that reduces or eliminates what you owe. And so, filing a return is always the right thing to do.