Don’t miss the final tax filing deadline (and unclaimed stimulus money)

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If you haven’t yet filed your 2020 tax return, now is the time. At this point, most extensions will expire on October 15 and start accruing late fees and interest. Worse yet, by not filing you will miss out on one-time child tax credit payments and the first two stimulus payments. Even if you don’t earn enough money to demand a tax return, it is still not too late to get that money.

The extended deadline for 2020 tax returns is October 15

If you’ve ever applied for an extension beyond the original May 17 tax date, you have until October 15 to file your taxes. After this date, amounts owed to the IRS will be incur costs and interest. (And if you haven’t filed for an extension and owe money, you’re already penalized). However, some people can file their taxes later, such as the military who are in a combat zone or are affected by a natural disaster (this includes the victims of Hurricane Ida – more details can be found here).

Why you need to file a 2020 tax return to claim money

A 2020 tax return is required for one-time COVID-related tax credits that are refundable, which means they are paid in cash if they exceed what you owe the IRS for that tax year. The first two checks, valued at $ 1,200 and $ 600,cannot be used by the IRS to reimburse taxes, although they can be used to pay overdue child support payments. The Child Tax Benefit also offers a credit of $ 3,600 per child for most families. However, if you don’t normally file a tax return due to your low income (less than $ 12,200 for single tax filers), these credits will not be claimed.

How you can still claim the stimulus check money

At this point, the only way to claim the first two stimulus payments worth $ 1,200 and $ 600 is to claim the amount as a “recovery refund” credit on your tax return (the third payment will be calculated automatically using your 2020 tax return, but you can also use this portal if you are not planning to file a 2020 income tax return). Although the IRS encourages people to file now, technically you can file your return within Three years from the due date of the declaration (including extensions) to get this refund.

Additionally, if the IRS calculated your third stimulus payment using your 2019 tax return, you may be entitled to more money as “increased paymentIf the IRS recalculates your total based on your 2020 return. Otherwise, if you don’t file your 2020 taxes, you will be stuck with the amount you got based on your 2019 return.

How you can still claim family allowance money

The Child Tax Benefit in 2021 pays a maximum of $ 2,000 to $ 3,600 per child (although this varies depending on your income), with half of this amount due in advance payments on the 15th of each month. until the end of the year (to find out more about eligibility, read this article from Lifehacker).

IRS says it is not too late to get the last two advance monthly payments if you submit your 2020 tax information now. You can do this either by filing your taxes electronically or by using this non-filer tool designed for low income individuals who typically do not file a tax return.

And again, because this credit will be based on your 2019 tax return if you haven’t filed a 2020 return, you might run out of money if your income has changed or if you’ve added a new dependent. since 2019.

To declare your taxes, remember to use IRS Free File if you earn less than $ 72,000 in gross annual income. Plus, you won’t be penalized for late filing if you don’t owe the IRS anything, which is a win-win if you still haven’t claimed your tax credits.

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About Clara Barnard

Clara Barnard

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