We have already passed January 01, 2018. By now, many of us have already received their W2s and 1099s. Remember that last date to file your US personal income tax return for the current year is April 17, 2018.
You can file an extension by filing form 4868. The deadline for submitting this form to IRS is again April 17, 2018. If IRS accepts your request, the new filing deadline will be October 15, 2018. You must note that even a valid extension is timely filed, the taxes are still due by April 17, 2018. A failure on your part may lead to penalties and interest to be paid to IRS.
For US residents working abroad, IRS grants a 2-month extension that ends on June 15, 2018. If needed, you can request IRS to grant you an additional extension. This extension will last until December 17, 2018.
The next step in the filing process is to decide who will file your income tax return. If you decide to take this responsibility, then you should count your options. Here are three of the top tax-filing options that Americans use.
1- H&R Block
H&R Block is one of the leading tax preparation companies of United States. It has over 12,000 locations across different states of US. You can visit any of these locations, and the experienced tax professionals of H&R block will assist you in getting your tax stuff done. H&R Block has developed its own tax software program, which it uses for preparation of different types of tax returns. This software program is also available to general public.
H&R Block has a free filing option which allows taxpayers to file federal and state income taxes without paying to H&R. However, this option is only available to those individuals whose income does not exceed US$ 64,000. However, this does not include local tax return filing. For that, H&R block charges taxpayer.
Another option that you can use for filing your state and federal income returns is TurboTax. It is also one of the leading tax preparation software program and is favored for being intuitive and streamlined. TurboTax is highly favored for being glitch-free and straightforward. However, one of the demerits of using TurboTax is its pricing. TurboTax also allows users to connect with a CPA or an Enrolled Agent and discuss tax matter. The option allows users to share their computer screen with tax professionals and seek expert advice on it. The option is free, and you can request for endless support meetings. A unique of TurboTax is Expense Finder. This feature allows taxpayers to link their bank accounts with TurboTax software programs. By doing this, taxpayers allow TurboTax to identify every single transaction that qualifies as an expense. The Expense Finder is so powerful that it tracks every nickel and dime spent on qualified expenses.
TurboTax offers a free service to individuals with an adjusted gross income of US$ 33,000 or less. If you are in active military service, then you can get this free service for an adjusted gross income of US$ 64,000 or less. This free service allows taxpayers free online filing of federal, state and local income taxes.
TaxAct is an affordable choice for basic taxpayers. TaxAct is not as powerful as TurboTax and H&R tax software programs. However, since the majority of Americans do not have complicated tax returns, so TaxAct is an obvious choice for the many. One downside of TaxAct is that it does not support forms 1041 and 1065 for all the US states. Before choosing TaxAct, taxpayers must check if TaxAct files their state return and has all required forms. Another shortcoming of TaxAct is lack of robust customer support. Despite these shortcomings, TaxAct is one of the leading tax filing choices of Americans.
Tax season is opening on January 29, 2018. Whichever option you select for filing your 2017 tax return, make sure you must not last date of filing (April 17, 2018, for most of the taxpayers).