Tax Checkup—What You Need to Know in September

tax tips | September 07, 2018 | By Susannah McQuitty

A woman updates her taxes in September online.

Taxes in September? Isn’t April the big time for filing your taxes?

It may seem odd, but September can actually be a pretty big month for taxes. Even if the upcoming deadlines don’t apply to you, everyone can benefit from giving their tax situation a checkup during the autumn months.

So what should you look out for when it comes to your taxes?

Extensions

The IRS offers a six-month extension to file if you can’t make the April 15 tax deadline. An extension will give you extra time to get your return to the IRS, but it won’t extend the amount of time to pay any tax due. Payments have to be sent to the IRS by April 15; after that, you could owe interest and penalties.

October 15 is the deadline to file your 2017 tax return if you filed an extension. Sure, that's still a little way away, but you’ll be glad when you don't have to deal with the stress of last-minute filing.

Coffee helps fuel tax research in the fall.

Estimated taxes

When you're self-employed, no employer means no withholding. That’s where estimated tax payments come in. Think of estimated taxes as self-withholding.

The IRS says if you expect to owe federal taxes (including your self-employment tax) of $1,000 or more, you have to make estimated tax payments.

There are four estimated tax deadlines throughout the year: one in April, June, September, and January. The September 17 deadline is coming up, so if you need to make an estimated payment, now’s the time! Form 1040-ES has all the details, including calculation instructions and payment vouchers.

Tax reform

You may have heard that major tax reform only happens once every 30 years or so; it’s been 32 years since the last big tax change, so it’s high time to start figuring out how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will affect you.

Many people will have lower tax rates (due to tax bracket changes) and bigger tax breaks (from the higher standard deduction and Child Tax Credit), so it’s a good idea to review how the changes will alter your personal finances. Do you need to withhold less? Would you rather have a big refund next year, or more money in your pocket per paycheck?

Whether you need to file your 2017 return, determine your estimated tax payments, or do some reading up on tax reform, 1040.com is the place to be. Check out our Tax Guide for information; be sure to use our tax estimator online, in the App Store, or through Google Play; and check out our page on tax reform!


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