Key Dates and Tips for Making it a Stress-Free Tax Season in 2017

IScissors cutting the word taxest’s January … the turkey has been enjoyed immensely, New Year’s has been rung in and the Christmas decorations have been put away for another year. Around the corner looms … TAXES!

No need to go running for the hills, this article will help you remember the key filing dates and provide you with some tips to ensure you get everything done this year.

January 15, 2017 – This is the date you need to make your final estimated tax payment for 2016, if you do not pay income taxes or enough income tax (for example, if you are self-employed) through withholding. Make sure you look at the documentation from your employer to ensure you have paid enough taxes.

April 15th, 2017 – 1st quarterly payment for your 2017 taxes is due. Once again, this is only if the IRS or your state requires you to pay quarterly estimated taxes. Check with your individual state for its due date, which may be different than the IRS. Your 2nd estimated tax payment is due June 15th, third estimated payment is due September 15th, and 4th estimated payment will be due on January 15, 2018.

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April 18, 2017 – Your 2016 personal taxes are due! This may be three months from now, but you can make your job easier (and less stressful) by following a few key points.

October 17, 2017 – Last day to file an individual tax return if you weren’t able to file by the April 18th deadline and needed to file a 6 month extension.

Be pro-active

Rather than rushing around trying to get all of the necessary documentation two days before your taxes are due, contact each of the organizations – including your employer – to see when you should expect required slips and forms. This way you can compile a calendar of when everything is expected, and know when to follow up if you do not receive what’s needed.

Organize and compile

Once you start receiving the documentation required to file your taxes, make sure you put it all in one safe place – it’s even a good idea to organize those receipts within your files, especially if you’re a small business. You may need to follow up with some organizations to get everything you need, and if everything is in one place it’s easier to see what’s missing.

Small businesses – categorize!

Even if you normally contract an accountant to file your taxes, they will thank you forever if you organize your receipts, invoices and other documentation into something sensible. This makes it easier for them to file, and it’ll be easier for you to ensure nothing is left out.

Posted on January 14, 2017 by in Personal Finance

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