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Individual Tax Calendar 2013

Keeping on the Internal Revenue Service's good side can involve more than just filing a tax return every April 15th.

Millions of Americans who own businesses, have self-employment income or do other things beyond collecting a standard paycheck can owe the IRS various forms and payments throughout the year. Here's a look at all of the tax agency's 2013 deadlines, plus some details about who must file by April 15th -- and what to do if you can't. -- By Jerry Kronenberg.

Key Tax Dates

January 10, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during December 2012 must report them to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer." 

 

January 15, 2013

Fourth-quarter 2012 estimated tax payments are due for self-employed people or others who don't pay all liabilities through paycheck withholding. Use Form 1040ES, "Estimated Tax for Individuals. Or, you can skip Form 1040ES and simply file your full 2012 tax return (including any taxes due) by Jan. 31. (Farmers and fisherman have until March 1.)

 

February 11, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during January must report amounts to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer."

 

February 15, 2013

Workers who claim exemption from income-tax withholding must file an annual Form W4, "Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate," by this date to avoid withholding for another year. 

 

March 11, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during February must report amounts to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer."

 

April 10, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during March must report amounts to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer."

 

April 15, 2013

TAX DAY. This is the Super Bowl Sunday of taxes. Most individuals must file their 2012 tax returns (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ and pay any remaining money due by midnight to avoid possible penalties. People who employ nannies or other household workers must also generally file a Schedule H if they paid their help $1,000 or more in cash during any 2012 quarter. 

If you need more time to prepare your return, file a Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return," by midnight.

Additionally, individuals who don't pay taxes through paycheck withholding should make a first-quarter 2013 payment using Form 1040ES, "Estimated Tax for Individuals."

May 10, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during April must report amounts to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer."

 

June 10, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during May must report amounts to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer."

 

June 17, 2013

This is Tax Day for U.S. citizens, resident aliens and most military personnel who live and work outside the United States or Puerto Rico.

Expatriate 2012 tax returns are due today, except for armed-forces members and some civilians who are deployed in combat zones or certain military-staging areas. The IRS gives such people additional time to file returns and/or pay any taxes owed (see IRS Publication 3 and these FAQs for details).

Other U.S. expatriates who need additional time to file can submit a Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return," by midnight to extend their filing deadline to Oct. 15.

This is the deadline for second-quarter 2013 estimated tax payments if you don't have regular paycheck withholding. Use Form 1040ES, "Estimated Tax for Individuals."

 

July 10, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during June must report amounts to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer."

 

August 12, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during July must report amounts to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer."

 

September 10, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during August must report amounts to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer."

 

September 16, 2013

Third-quarter 2013 estimated taxes are due if you don't have regular paycheck withholding. Use Form 1040ES, "Estimated Tax for Individuals."

 

October 10, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during September must report amounts to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer."

 

October 15, 2013

This is Tax Day for those who got automatic six-month extensions using Form 4868. File your 2012 Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ and pay any taxes, interest and penalties due by midnight to avoid problems with the IRS.

 

November 12, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during October must report amounts to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer."

 

December 10, 2013

Waiters and others who got $20 or more in tips during November must report amounts to their bosses using Form 4070, "Employee's Report of Tips to Employer."

 

Q. Does the IRS have to receive my tax return by April 15th, or is it good enough to mail or e-file it by then?

A. The U.S. government considers your return filed on time if it's postmarked or e-filed by midnight April 15th. It doesn't matter when the IRS actually receives your return, although agency spokeswoman Peggy Riley recommends filing as soon as possible so as to avoid any last-minute glitches.

Q. What happens if I don't file my return by April 15?

A. Anyone who ends up showing a balance due on their 2012 personal income tax return but doesn't file by midnight April 15, 2013, potentially faces failure-to-file penalties, failure-to-pay penalties and interest on the amounts due.

If you don't owe money, you can theoretically file your return late without penalty. However, you'll lose your right to any refund due if you don't claim it within three years. In some cases, you can even lose your right to a refund sooner.

Q. What if I don't have the records to complete my return, or otherwise need additional time to finish up?

A. All taxpayers are entitled to automatic six-month federal extensions so long as they file a Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, by midnight on April 15th using either mail or e-filing.

Form 4868 extends your filing deadline until Oct. 15, 2013, but doesn't actually extend the deadline for paying any taxes due. To avoid penalties and interest, you must estimate how much money (if any) that you ultimately expect to owe and include it with your extension request. (You can pay electronically if you e-file.)

Q. What if I don't have the money to pay what I owe?

A. The IRS recommends filing your return by April 15th anyway so as to avoid failure-to-file penalties. Include as much money as you can with your return, as that will minimize the interest and failure-to-pay penalties on your unpaid balance.

You should also attach either a Form 1127, "Application for Extension of Time for Payment of Tax Due to Undue Hardship," or propose a monthly payment plan using Form 9465-FS, "Installment Agreement Request." Click here for details.

Q. I live in an area that celebrates Patriots Day or Emancipation Day. When is my 2012 return due?

A. It's still due on April 15th this year.

Taxpayers who filed returns to an Andover, Mass., IRS office used to get an extra day if Patriots Day -- a Massachusetts and Maine state holiday -- fell on Tax Day (as it does this year). However, the Massachusetts facility no longer processes paper returns, so there's no special Patriots Day extension any more.

Similarly, there's no extra filing day this year for Emancipation Day, a District of Columbia holiday that sometimes coincides with Tax Day. Taxpayers across the country get an extra day to file when that happens, but Tax Day and Emancipation Day fall on different days this year.

Q. Does anyone get extra time to file this year?

A. Yes. U.S. citizens or resident aliens who live outside the United States or Puerto Rico and whose main place of business is overseas qualify for an automatic two-month extension until June 15th without filing any paperwork. So do U.S. military personnel who are stationed overseas.

Additionally, military people and some civilians who are in combat zones or certain combat-support areas on April 15th will automatically get a 180-day extension (and sometimes longer) to file their returns and pay any taxes due without incurring penalties.



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