Half the grunt work involving taxes is knowing how much time you have to get certain tasks done. Of course, you know the deadline to file taxes. (Or, do you? This year is different.) But there are other key dates that may affect your filing.
For example, Jan. 15 is the deadline for self-employed workers and others who pay quarterly estimated tax to pay their fourth-quarter tax payment for 2015. However, you can skip this estimated payment without penalty if you file the return and pay the balance in full by Feb. 1—yet another deadline to remember.
Here are nine more key dates to put on your 2016 calendar while you prepare your 2015 individual income tax returns, courtesy of H&R Block.
1. Tuesday, Jan. 19. The IRS begins accepting individual electronic returns.
2. Monday, Feb. 1. Take note, early-bird filers. Companies have until this day to mail out W-2 forms to their employees. This is also the deadline for businesses to send 1099 statements that report non-employee compensation, bank interest, dividends and distributions from a retirement plan. These forms help to calculate your total taxable income.
This is also the deadline for self-employed individuals to file and pay in full their fourth-quarter estimated tax payment to avoid a penalty.
3. Tuesday, Feb. 16. Financial institutions must mail out 1099-B, 1099-S and 1099-MISC forms by this date. 1099-B forms detail sales of stock, bonds or mutual funds through a brokerage account. 1099-S forms relate to real estate transactions. 1099-MISC forms show other income such as rent and royalty payments or prizes and awards from TV or radio shows.
4. Monday, Feb. 29. Farmers and fishermen who have a balance due on their taxes must file their individual tax returns and pay the balance by this deadline to avoid late-payment penalties.
5. Monday, April 18. This is the deadline to submit individual tax returns for the year 2015 or to request an automatic extension, which provides an additional six months to file your return. However, your tax payment is still due by April 18 and can be submitted with the extension form.
Typically, the tax deadline falls on April 15. But Emancipation Day — a Washington, D.C., holiday — is being officially celebrated on Friday, April 15, this year, pushing the tax deadline to the following Monday for most of the nation.
This is also the last day to make a contribution to a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Health Savings Account (HSA), SEP-IRA or solo 401(k) for the 2015 tax year. If you file an extension, you have until Oct. 15 to fund a SEP-IRA or 401(k).
For those who are years’ behind on their taxes, this is also the final deadline to file an original tax return for 2012 and still claim a tax refund. Generally, refunds expire three years from the original due date of the tax return. This is also the deadline to file an amended tax return for 2012 and still claim a refund.
6. Tuesday, April 19. Due to Patriots Day on April 18, the deadline to file federal income tax returns in Maine and Massachusetts is pushed to this day.
7. Wednesday, June 15. U.S. citizens living abroad must file individual tax returns and pay any tax due by this deadline, or file a four-month extension.
8. Saturday, June 30. For taxpayers who have over $10,000 in total in foreign bank accounts, this is the deadline to file a Foreign Bank Account Report for the tax year of 2015. These forms must be filed electronically and extensions aren’t allowed.
9. Monday, Oct. 17. If you filed for an extension, this is the final deadline to file your individual tax return for 2015. This also applies to U.S. citizens living abroad who filed an extension.
If you requested an automatic extension, this is the final deadline to fund a SEP-IRA or solo 401(k) for the 2015 tax year.
This story was updated to correct the final deadline to fund a SEP-IRA or solo 401(k) for the 2015 tax year from November to Oct. 17.