Q. 56: When Is the Last Day You Can Send in Federal Income Tax Forms?

Income tax forms
April 15th is the last day you can send in your federal income tax forms.

To pass the US citizenship test, you will have to answer 10 of a possible 100 questions. The following question is from the USCIS test.

When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?

Answer:

April 15.

The following is a full explanation of the USCIS question:

April 15th Is the Last Day You Can Send in Your Federal Tax Forms

Regardless of whether you are a single filer, the head of household, a student, or even an immigrant to the United States, the last day you can send your federal tax forms in is April 15th, the day before Emancipation Day. This particular date is per U.S. Code which declares that on the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the calendar year, which is also the end of the fiscal tax year, all individual tax returns must be filed.

While certain exemptions may allow a filer to submit their federal tax payment after April 15th, there are very strict rules regarding their use. Most filers, however, choose to file their tax returns electronically as soon as they receive their paperwork from their employers.

Single Filer

The most common form of individual federal tax forms submitted is the single filer. Like all filers, the filing deadline for single filers to submit their federal tax returns is April 15th. As single filers generally pay higher taxes, they are usually eligible for a higher tax refund. And the fastest way to get that tax refund is through electronic filing.

Assuming that a single filer is not itemizing anything on their federal income tax return, they are usually eligible for the standard deduction. This standard deduction is only available to individuals, heads of households, and married persons. It allows the filer to deduct a portion of their gross income, which reduces their tax liability. A filer who uses the standard deduction may see a higher individual income tax return.

Parent Filers

Filers who are parents can file either singularly or as head of household, provided that only one person in the household files as the head. The tax deadline for parent filers is the same as all other individual filers, which is April 15th.

One benefit that parent filers have is the child tax credit. Unlike the standard deduction, the child tax credit allows a parent filer to receive a deduction for each child living in the household under the age of 17. However, there are limitations to the child tax credit based on the filer’s gross income. The more a filer makes, the more tax credits that he or she is eligible to receive.

Student Filers

United States citizens and immigrants who are attending a college or university may file their federal taxes singularly or, if they are married, as a couple. However, because they are still considered individual taxpayers, they are still required to comply with the April 15th filing deadline.

Students, who generally make less than most other taxpayers, are eligible for special deductions designed exclusively for them. One of the most common deductions for student filers is the student loan interest deduction. This deduction allows students to deduct the value of any interest they have paid on their student loans over the year. There are strict guidelines associated with deductions for students.

Military Filers

While armed services members are paid using taxpayer funds over the fiscal year, they still pay taxes themselves. As a result, they are required to comply with the April 15th tax deadline to file their federal income taxes. However, there are certain extensions available to members who are stationed in combat zones.

Those who are serving in the military, and are also married, may file their taxes jointly. However, it must be noted that, in general, a joint return requires that both taxpayers are present at the time of filing. Those stationed overseas may leave authorization for their spouse to file on their behalf.

United States Citizens Living Abroad

United States citizens or resident aliens who choose instead to move outside of the United States are still required to file their tax returns each tax year. As with any individual filer, those who choose to live abroad will still need to comply with the April 15th deadline unless they are overseas on the deadline date. As such, ex-pats receive an automatic extension of two months, giving them a second possible tax deadline of June 15th, in which to file their taxes.

Because one of the requirements for the standard deduction is residency, any United States citizen or resident alien who lives abroad is not eligible for this deduction. However, several special tax credits are available to those living overseas. The most common tax benefit used is the foreign earned income exclusion, limiting the tax liability of those living overseas who are making a taxable income of less than $100,000.

United States taxpayers must also comply with FACTA, which requires them to report any bank account opened with foreign financial institutions. In most countries, any U.S. citizen opening an account with a foreign bank will be required to fill out a form notifying the IRS of the account’s existence.

What About Back Taxes?

The IRS considers you to be a filer in good standing, provided that you have filed your tax form and paid the last six years’ worth of tax returns on time. It is not uncommon, especially for young filers, to forget to file their annual tax returns. And although you can file your tax returns for the back taxes for up to six years, you will only be eligible to receive refunds and tax credits for a period of three years.

It is important to keep in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service. Those who file on time during tax season will not be required to pay any fees or penalties. However, those who file late, or need to file their back taxes, may be assessed fees and penalties for that late tax filing. It is important to pay all of your taxes and file your taxes on time every year. If you miss a particular year, you may file a back tax return the following year.

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