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Estimated IRS Tax Refund Schedule Dates

What Are the Tax Refund Schedule Dates?

IRS tax refund schedule dates

The IRS usually issues 9 out of 10 refunds within 10 days after efiling. The chart below will help you determine when you should get your refund.

However, keep in mind the IRS tax refund schedule dates are an estimation and is not set in stone. Sometimes there are delays, which may cause your refund to take longer than 10 days to reach you.

Anyone can get their tax refund faster by e-filing and opting to receive their refund via direct deposit.

IRS Tax Refund Cycle Chart

Date You FiledRefund Date if E-File +
Direct Deposit
Refund Date if Paper-File +
Direct Deposit
Jan 15Jan 25Feb. 25
Jan 22Jan 29Feb 29
Feb 1Feb 11March 11
Feb 7Feb 17March 17
Feb 15Feb 25March 25
Feb 22Mar 1Apr 1
March 1March 11April 11
March 7March 17April 17
March 15March 25April 25
March 22April 2May 2
April 1April 10May 10
April 7April 17May 17
April 15April 25May 25

Be First in Line for Your Tax Refund

More than 80% of taxpayers get a tax refund. Last year, federal tax refunds averaged almost $3,000. That’s why we’re encouraging people to file as soon as they can. Be first in line with TurboTax Online or H&R Block Online. There is no faster way for taxpayers to speed up their tax refund dates.

Both firms will securely hold and then submit customers’ tax return to the IRS as soon as the agency begins accepting returns. Both firms will process tax returns on a first-in, first-out basis. Although the IRS does not anticipate refund schedule delays, taxpayers are encouraged to e-file and use direct deposit as the fastest way to get their refunds. As it did last year, the IRS expects to issue nine out of ten tax refunds in 21 calendar days or less.

Calculating Your Tax Refund

tax refund cycle chart

H&R Block and TurboTax both have free online tax refund calculators. Estimating your refund does not have to be hard, thanks to these two websites. You can plan ahead and decide what to do with your refund when it arrives.

Some Taxpayers May Experience a Delay in receiving Tax Refunds

Quoted from an IRS press release, John Koskinen, IRS Commissioner, said, “We don’t want people caught by surprise if they get their refund later than the normal date.”

Tax return filers claiming Additional Child Tax Credits (ACTC) and Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) may have their refunds held up by the IRS for several weeks. The IRS tax refund schedule dates could be held up until February 15.

An additional factor coming into play is heightened identity theft awareness. Both IRS and state tax authorities are required to take extra steps to prevent fraud. The additional steps required by these entities takes effect for the upcoming income tax filing season.

To prevent a delay in receiving your tax refund when claiming either the EITC or ACTC, make changes to your income tax withholdings for the remainder of 2019. What this does is puts more money in your pocket now but reduces your refund later.

What to Expect When Filing Your Taxes Online

Deciding to file online is your key to making tax season less stressful. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your tax situation, have your information put on the correct tax forms, and the online system will bring to your attention the deductions and credits that you are eligible for.

This way, you can keep more of your hard-earned money. They even have a free tax refund calculator so you can see how much of a tax refund you should expect.

It is recommended that you file your tax return online because it will be processed quicker, and you will receive your refund in the shortest time possible. If you mail in your tax return, your refund date could be delayed for several weeks.

Who Can Get a Quick Tax Refund?

As long as an individual does not owe the IRS any money and has some earned income, they are eligible for a quick tax refund. All these taxpayers have to do is e-file, and they should be anticipating a refund check according to the IRS tax refund schedule dates. That is what you call fast because some people wait a month before they are paid for working their daily jobs.

Just remember that in order to get a quick refund, you must have all of your tax documents in order so that there are no reasons for the IRS to put a hold on your money. If the information provided to the IRS is, information that does not seem to follow through, they can also put a hold on your refund for that as well. So make sure the information provided is accurate and correct to ensure you receive a refund.

Ways to Receive Your Tax Refund

  • Direct Deposit – This is the quickest way, and it can go to your checking or savings account, including IRAs. You can even ask for it to be deposited into your TreasuryDirect account so you can buy U.S. Treasury marketable securities and savings bonds.
  • By purchase of U.S. Series/Savings Bonds up to $5,000
  • Paper check mailed to the address you used when filing taxes

To put a stop to fraud and identity theft, the IRS limits the number of direct deposits that can go to one financial account to three. This also includes prepaid debit cards, and if the limit is exceeded, a notice will be mailed with a paper check.

This year you also have the option of having your refund partially or fully deposited into your myRA account. This is a new type of retirement account from the U.S. Treasury. However, to do this, you have to already have a myRA account before filing your return. You will also need your routing and account numbers.

Splitting Your Return

If you are opting to receive your return via direct deposit, you do have the option of splitting up your return into up to three different accounts. For example, you could put some in your checking, savings, and retirement account. To do this, you must complete and attach Form 8888 to your federal tax return.

However, you are not able to do this if you file Form 8379. Also, keep in mind that the accounts that you are depositing your money into should be in your name, your spouse’s name, or a joint account, which includes both you and your spouse’s name. Lastly, in order to do the direct deposit option, your refund amount has to be at least $1.00.

Checking Your Refund Status via the IRS

You no longer have to worry about using the IRS Refund Cycle Chart or schedule to try to find out when your refund will arrive. Instead, thanks to technology, you can use the Where’s My Refund” tool that is located on the IRS website.

It will provide you with the status of your refund and alerts – Tax Return Received, Tax Refund Approved, and Tax Refund Sent. If you have filed a paper return, it will take up to four weeks for your Return Received alert to show. However, if you e-file, the alert usually shows within 24 hours.

To use the tool, you have to enter your personal information, such as your social security number, filing status, and refund amount.

Checking Your Refund Status via the Phone

If you have a smartphone, you can download the IRS2GO app and check your refund status directly from your phone. It is available for Apple and Android phones. You will still have to enter your personal information to obtain your refund status.

Alternatively, you can call the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954. You will still have to enter the same information as you would if you were to check your refund status via the internet.

Video Information About IRS Tax Refund Dates

Tax refunds for e-filed returns are usually processed within 10 days of the e-file acceptance date. Refunds from paper returns can take six to eight weeks to process from the date that the return was received. Despite nine out of ten returns going out in this period, if the return is incomplete or inaccurate, further review of the return can cause the refund schedule date to be delayed.

Getting a Fast Tax Refund

Now you have learned a few different ways for you to get a fast tax refund date and how to check the status of your refund. All you have to do now is go with the option that works the best for you.

Remember, if you file your taxes online you’ll get the fastest refund possible!

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Printable IRS Tax Forms & Instructions

Printable IRS Tax Forms can be downloaded using the links found below. However, there’s a better way to get your tax forms.

The Best Way to Get Your IRS Tax Forms

IRS tax forms can be downloaded in a far superior way by using online tax software. Platforms like TurboTax Online and H&R Block Online will enable you to enter your information into the system and have the correct tax forms supplied automatically.

New Printable IRS 1040 Tax Forms, Schedules & Instructions

Where to get IRS Federal Tax Forms, Instructions and Publications

 

Old IRS 1040 Tax Forms & Instructions

 

Employer & Employee Tax Forms

 

Inheritance – Estate – Gift Tax Forms

 

Extension – College Tuition – Misc. Tax Forms

Get the Right IRS Tax Forms Automatically

You can find free fillable Federal tax forms at the website of the IRS, or you can use online tax filing to supply the correct tax forms for you automatically.

You can be assured you are preparing and filing the correct tax form by using online tax software. Filing your tax return can be a nerve-wracking feeling, but it doesn’t have to be if you let the tax software guide you through the tax filing process.

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How Much is the Child Tax Credit?

As with any tax credit, refund or deduction, there are a few rules that will influence the amount that eligible applicants will receive.

Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know about the Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit

How Much do You Get Back in Taxes for a Child?

The child tax credit for 2020, 2021, is worth up to $2,000 per child that is under the age of 17. To be eligible to claim the child tax credit, your child or dependent must first pass all of the eligibility tests:

  1. Must be 16 or younger on the last day of the year
  2. Must be a US citizen, US national, or a resident alien
  3. Must be claimed by you as a dependent
  4. Must be related to you by blood, or step relationship, or legally adopted child/foster child
  5. Must have resided with you for more than half of the year (special rules apply for special circumstances such as divorce)
  6. You must have provided them with more than half of their support

What is the New Child Tax Credit Amount After Tax Reform Changes?

Learn how much is child tax credit amount and who qualifies to claim it.

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) the following new child tax credit rules will take place in 2019, 2020:

  • The Child Tax Credit changes make it worth up to $2,000 per qualifying child. The age cut-off remains at 17 (the child must be under 17 at the end of the year for taxpayers to claim the credit).
  • The refundable portion of the credit is limited to $1,400. This amount will be adjusted for inflation after 2018.
  • The earned income threshold for the refundable credit is reduced to $2,500.
  • The beginning credit phaseout for the child tax credit increases to $200,000 ($400,000 for joint filers). The phaseout also applies to the new $500 credit for other dependents.
  • The child must have a valid SSN to qualify for the $2,000 Child Tax Credit

Claiming the Child Tax Credit

Any parent or legal guardian with a child age 17 or younger at the end of a tax year can claim the said child for the child tax credit. The child must reside with the claiming parent for more than 50-percent of the year. The child also cannot financially support themselves with at least half of their own expenses.

When you prepare your taxes online, you are automatically asked the right questions to determine if you qualify and how much you get back in taxes for a child.

What is the Additional Child Tax Credit?

What is the additional child tax credit?

If the refundable credit you receive from the standard Child Tax Credit is more than your taxes owed, you might receive an Additional Child Tax Credit (provided your income is at least $3,000).

Form 1040 has all the information you need to calculate whether or not this applies to your current family situation.

IRS Child Tax Credit Worksheet

Child tax credit worksheet and calculator

The child tax credit worksheet is a helpful resource provided by the IRS. You can find it through IRS Publication 972. The purpose of the worksheet is to help you calculate how much child tax credit you can claim this coming tax year. You’ll be able to enter information like your income and how many eligible children you have.

You should remember that the child tax credit, is non-refundable. It reduces your tax liability and can do so all the way to $0.

If you have three or more qualifying children, you may be able to take the Additional Child Tax Credit instead. This is handy if you would rather get a refund instead of reducing your total tax liability.

Use the child tax credit worksheet to figure out which option is best for you.

Try the Child Tax Credit Calculator

Thankfully it is simple to calculate both the Child Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit if you meet the set requirements.

Websites with online tax filing platforms offer a complete service for calculating and claiming the child tax credit. All you need to do is supply basic information, and you will see if you’re eligible for either of these credits.

The dependents credit finder asks simple questions about your dependents and will let you know if you can claim the child tax credit on your tax return and calculate how much you qualify for.

Best of all, you can use these tools for free before you file.

How Much is the Child Tax Credit Phase Out Limit?

You should also keep in mind that the child tax credit begins to phase out at $200,000 for single taxpayers and $400,000 for joint taxpayers.

The child tax credit limit is locked in at $2,000 per child. This has increased substantially under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which changed the entire tax system. You need to be aware that the changes state that you can’t get more than $2,000 per child.

However, you need to be aware that many families won’t get $2,000 per qualifying child. Many families will get much less after income, and other restrictions are considered.

Other things could impact how much you get from the child tax credit, such as social security and Medicare payments.

What About Dependents on Multiple Returns?

Only one taxpayer or couple can claim the child for the Child Tax Credit and ACTC. If more than one person tries to claim the child, the IRS will determine who gets to claim the child using the tiebreaker rules.

Other Child-Related Tax CreditsLearn about other child related tax credits.

Most parents and legal guardians are aware of the earned income credit (EIC) and child tax credits that they can qualify for to reduce their tax liabilities.

Some do not know that adoption credits can be taken as well as paying out-of-pocket (OOP) for child/dependent care. These deductions can help reduce your tax liability, and in some cases, result in a refund.

Earned Income Credit (EIC) – To qualify for the EIC, you must meet income limitations and have the required number of qualifying children for your income level. The income thresholds can change. An example is the recent earnings year. Families with a single child filing jointly cannot have an adjusted gross income (AGI) more than $46,010. For single/head of household and surviving spouses, the income limit for a single child is $40,320.

Child and Dependent Care Credit – You could deduct up to $3,000 for one dependent or up to $6,000 for more than one with this credit. The percentage of child and dependent care costs that you can claim, as an allowable expense, is 20 to 35-percent based upon your AGI. If you have a single qualifying child, the maximum credit amount is $3,000. For two or more children, the maximum credit is $6,000.

Adoption Tax Credit – If you have already adopted or are in the process, you may qualify for this credit. The method of adopting a child is costly. Some employers assist employees with adoption expenses. This “income” can be deducted and claimed as employer-provided adoption assistance. You can also claim any monies paid to an adoption agency for the adoption of a child that qualifies for the credit.

You cannot receive any excess funds. The maximum credit can change, you should view the yearly guidelines set by the IRS. Extra monies are rolled forward as credits on future tax returns.

Student Loan Interest Student loan interest can be deducted up to the amount of $2,500 per school/tax year. The modified adjusted gross income constraints to claim this credit require that those filing single do not have more than $80,000 income. For those that are married, the income threshold is $160,000 if you file jointly

Filing Status – If you are unwed and your child resided with you for more than half of the year, you could qualify for a higher standard deduction and lower tax rates with the Head of Household filing status.

Exemptions – Receive the standard exemption for each child that qualifies.

How to Claim the Child Tax Credit

You don’t need to worry about figuring this out. Online tax filing makes it easy to claim the child tax credit. After asking you a few simple questions about your family, the tax software will determine for you who qualifies as a dependent on your tax return and how much you can get back.

That way, you’ll get the biggest tax refund possible with the least amount of hassle.

Additional Considerations

It is important to remember that the Child Tax Credit can only be claimed once per child – it cannot appear on multiple tax returns.

If there is an argument around who is entitled to the credit, the IRS will make a judgment call based on who will receive the money based on a set of predetermined rules.

The Child Tax Credit is not the only way that you can use tax rulings to help support your children. Here’s an overview of the child-related tax savings that might apply to you:

  • There are standard exemptions that apply to each of your qualifying children.
  • The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit allows you to deduct $3,000 per child or a total of $6,000 if you have multiple dependents.
  • The Adoption Tax Credit is available to those who have adopted a child or are in the process of doing so.
  • Note that if you are unmarried and your child spends at least half of their time living with you each year, then the benefits and deductions available change provided you submit your tax return as a Head of Household.

The government has structured the tax system in such a way that those with children, or in difficult financial circumstances, can afford to look after their little ones and give them the best care possible. There is no need to feel guilty about trying to get credit from the tax system – it’s there for the taking.

Form 1040 (Schedule 8812) helps determine if you qualify and the amount of the credit that you will receive. If you prepare your return online, the software will do all of the math for you.

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Capital Gains Tax and You – Do You Need to Pay?

capital gains taxDid you make a successful investment this year, or did you sell a property? If that’s the case, you may need to pay capital gains tax. This is a perplexing aspect of the tax code, and we are going to make it much clearer for you.

What is Capital Gains Tax?

Investors from small fish to huge firms are all eligible to pay capital gains tax. Practically all money gained through an investment is taxable, and you need to be aware of that.

Capital gains tax is essentially investment income taxes. They apply to most common investments, such as bonds, stocks, and property. The money you get back when you sell or receive a dividend is eligible to be taxed.

However, there are a few factors that determine whether you can claim a capital gains tax deduction:

  • How much you make
  • Your tax bracket.
  • How long you held the investment for
  • What you paid for the investment

Your Filing Status

How much you owe in capital gains largely depends on the tax bracket you fall into. Naturally, your income is the deciding factor in this. The more you make, the more tax you’ll have to pay. Your filing status is important, so make sure you check out the current tax brackets for your filing status.

How Long Did You Hold the Investment?

The IRS breaks investments into short-term and long-term investments.

For the the IRS, short-term investments are considered to have been held for one year or less. Anything over this is regarded as a long-term investment.

As of this writing, short-term investments are given the same tax rate as your wages. Long-term investments, however, are taxed at the reduced rates, which could be anything from nothing to 20%.

What Tax Do You Pay on Investment Income?

capital gains lossesMany Americans invest in the stock market, and many of them make money. The profit made from the sale of a stock or bond is taxed

The amount you owe, in this respect, is determined by how long you held the investment, your filing status, and the tax bracket you fall into.

Do I Need to Pay Capital Gains on Real Estate?

Real estate is another asset you will need to pay capital gains tax on when you sell it. If you make a profit when you sell the property, you will need to pay capital gains tax on that profit.

The rate in capital gains tax mainly depends on whether it was a short-term or long-term investment.

What About Selling My Home?

Selling your primary residence works differently from selling an investment property. If you make a profit on your primary residence, the chances are you won’t have to pay capital gains taxes on that profit.

There are exclusions for this. Single taxpayers can exclude $250,000 of the gain, whereas a married couple filing together get an exclusion of $500,000 of the gain. The catch is that your spouse also must have lived in the home for a specific amount of time.

The criteria to get the capital gains exclusion is:

  • You owned the home for at least two years of the last five-year period.
  • The property was your primary home for that same period. The day of sale isn’t counted.
  • You haven’t taken a capital gains exclusion on your property within the last two years.

What if I Inherit a Home?

You may have inherited a home when a relative died. If you sell this home, you will need to pay capital gains tax as it will be treated like any other type of investment property. That is if it’s sold for more than the fair market value when the relative in question dies.

What About Capital Losses?

Capital gains tax doesn’t apply when an investment loses you money. It’s possible to reduce your capital gains tax liability by using the losses from one investment to offset the gains from another investment.

Let’s use an example to illustrate this. You made $15,000 in investment income last year. The problem was you lost $5,000 on a property you sold. The capital loss of $5,000 can be taken away from the investment income, thus reducing your tax liability.

When capital losses are bigger than capital gains, the loss can always be deducted when you file your taxes.

Reporting Capital Gains and Capital Losses on Your Return

reporting capital gainsForm 8949 and Schedule D are the two forms you need to map out capital losses and capital gains. This will also help you to calculate whether you owe money or not as you write each item down line-by-line.

Gains are only paid after losses are taken away.

Do I Have to Pay Capital Gains Tax this Year?

Online tax filing companies are perfect for navigating your personal situation and determining whether you can claim a capital gains deduction this coming year. They will be able to guarantee accuracy and ensure you don’t have to refile your taxes or deal with a nasty audit.

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Get up to 35% Discount on H&R Block and TurboTax!

Get a 35% Discount on H&R Block Online Tax Filing

H&R Block Discount

This year the H&R Block discount for the 2019, 2020 tax season, brings you tax preparation and filing at an incredible sale price.

Learn how H&R Block tax software can help you file your taxes online and how you can get a 35% discount and other benefits for doing so.

H&R Block gives you options for completing your taxes online or in-person with a qualified tax professional. However, if you complete them online, you are not on your own.

You will receive a complete walk-through and instructions to ensure you are doing everything right. If you do find yourself in a bit of a questionable position, help is right around the corner with their knowledgeable technical support team.

You can choose one of H&R Block’s four products to complete your taxes confidently, knowing you have received every deduction to maximize your return.

Get a 20% Discount on TurboTax Online Tax Filing

This offer gives a discount on the standard retail price and provides a great way to use a top-ranked tax preparation software package at 20%  off the regular cost.

So, if you plan to use TurboTax, you can get a 20% discount when you file your taxes.

Along with the online discount code, TurboTax offers a way for users who file their taxes to apply some, or all, of their refund to purchase an Amazon.com gift card.

TurboTax users who purchase an Amazon.com gift card with their return will automatically receive an additional 10% in value on their gift card courtesy of TurboTax.

As an example, a $1,000.00 gift card purchased with tax return money instantly becomes $1,100.00 with TurboTax’s 10% bonus.

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How to Fill Out the New IRS Form 1040

How to fill out a new 1040 tax form

Form 1040 is the basic tax form everyone who pays taxes must fill out when filing Federal income taxes. Today, there’s just a single version of Form 1040.

Depending on your tax situation, you may need to attach other forms and schedules to your 1040.

Why Do I Need to File Form 1040?

When you file your taxes, you’ll report your income for the year on Form 1040. All tax filers will use the same form. The previous forms, such as 1040EZ and 1040A, are no longer valid.

These changes were brought in as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), enacted by President Donald Trump in 2017.

Nonresident aliens may use Form 1040NR, however.

How to Fill Out Form 1040

Form 1040 is made up of two pages. You’ll supply your personal details on page one. These will include your name, your filing status, and your Social Security Number (SSN). You’ll need to add the same information for your spouse if married and filing jointly.

Anyone claiming dependents must also add the personal information of these dependents. Since the TCJA, all dependents must have their own SSNs. If claiming the child tax credit or another credit for dependents, you’ll need to tick a box next to the space for your dependents’ information.

There’s also a box you need to tick that tells the IRS whether you have health insurance, as well as any healthcare exemptions for the tax year.

You’ll also need to list your occupation and sign the first page.

Listing Your Income

Now we move onto the second page. Lines one to seven are where you’ll tell the IRS about your income for the tax year. You should already have your W-2 form if you were a salaried employee. The information supplied via your W-2 form will be included on Form 1040.

You should also include any other sources of income, such as any interest income, annuities, dividends, and Social Security benefits. You can find a full list of the different sources of income you should include via the guidance on the IRS website.

Using the different sources of income you have, you’ll then calculate them and add the total figure for your adjusted gross income. This should be included on line seven.

How to Calculate Your Adjusted Gross Income

So how do you adjust your income?

These are known in tax filing as types of above-the-line deductions. They get this name because these deductions are removed from your total income. The adjusted gross income figure is how the Federal government determines how much tax you pay. Tax is based on this figure only.

To take these deductions, you’ll need to include different forms together with Form 1040. The previous version of Form 1040 included 15 lines that allowed you to make these deductions. These lines are now spread through Schedules 1 to 6. So, you only need to include these schedules if you’re claiming specific deductions.

For example, Schedule 4 and Form SE is only used if you’re claiming deductions on the self-employment tax.

Take note that deductions available in previous years have now been removed. For example, you can no longer claim deductions for college tuition and moving fees.

Considering Taxes and Credits

Now that you’ve worked out your adjusted gross income, it’s time to work out the different tax credits you’re able to claim.

Either you’ll claim the standard deduction on line eight, or you’ll itemize your deductions. For qualified business income deductions, you’ll need to use line 9. On lines 10 to 15, you can enter the different amounts for tax credits.

For example, line 12a will be where you enter the amount for the child tax credit. Any withheld Federal income taxes can be entered on line 14.

Claim a Tax Refund

The following section will consider your tax refund if you’re eligible for one.

For this section, look at line 18 and line 15. If the amount on line 18 is larger than the amount on line 15, this means you’re able to claim a tax refund.

Just take away the amount from line 15 from that on line 18 and enter the amount on line 19. That’s how much the Federal government owes you.

Through the rest of the refund section, if you’re eligible for one, you’ll need to enter your bank details. You may also attach Form 8888 if you wish to get your refund in the form of savings bonds. It’s also possible to claim your refund as a paper check.

How Much Do I Owe to the Federal Government?

If you’re not eligible for a refund and you owe money to the Federal government, you’ll need to pay the IRS. This is what appears at the end of the second page of Form 1040. It’s called Amount You Owe. The amount you need to pay should be entered on line 22.

If you owe any penalties, include these on line 23. Form 1040 includes instructions for underpayment penalties.

How to File Form 1040

This is the most basic form used for filing your income taxes via the IRS. It doesn’t matter what situation you’re in because Form 1040 is the base form, so every taxpayer must submit one to the IRS at the start of the year.

Finally, if you want to make filing your 1040 easy, you should consider using some online tax preparation software. You’ll be able to follow some step-by-step instructions on how to fill out Form 1040. The software will plug all the numbers into the right places, thus taking all the stress and hard work out of filing your taxes.