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Due Dates

The following is a compilation of various deadlines for filing returns with the IRS and making various payments.

January 2013

Employers, businesses, banks, and other financial institutions are preparing various tax documents to mail out.

January 15, 2013

IRS begins accepting electronically filed tax returns.

Deadline to pay your fourth quarter estimated tax payment. However, you can skip this estimated payment without penalty if you file your return and pay your balance in full by January 31, 2012.

January 31, 2013

Deadline for employers to mail out Form W-2 and for businesses to furnish Form 1099 statements reporting, among other things, non-employee compensation, bank interest, dividends, and distributions from a retirement plan.

Deadline for self-employed individuals to file and to pay their tax and avoid an penalty for not making your 4th quarter estimated tax payment.

February 15, 2013

Deadline for employees who claim exemption from withholding to file a new Form W-4 with their employers.

Deadline for financial institutions to mail out Form 1099-B, relating to sales of stock, bonds or mutual funds through a brokerage account, and Form 1099-S, relating to real estate transactions.

March 1, 2013

Deadline for farmers and fishermen who have a balance due on their taxes to file their individual tax return and pay the balance due without incurring any late payment penalties. For more details, see the Farmer's Tax Guide (Publication 225, especially chapter 15 ).

March 15, 2013

Deadline for corporate tax returns (Forms 1120, 1120A, and 1120S), or to request automatic 6-month extension of time to file (Form 7004).

Final deadline to file an amended corporate tax return (Form 1120X) for tax year 2008 and still claim a tax refund.

April 15, 2013

Deadline to file individual tax returns (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) or to request an Automatic Extension (Form 4868). An extension provides an extra six months to file your return. Payment of the tax is still due by April 17th. You can submit payment for tax along with the extension form.

Last day to make a retroactive contribution to traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Health Savings Account, SEP-IRA or solo 401(k) for the 2011 tax year. (However, if you get an extension, you will have until October 17th to fund a SEP-IRA or solo 401(k).)

1st quarter estimated tax payments due for the 2013 tax year.

Final deadline to file an original tax return (Form 1040) for tax year 2008 and still claim a tax refund.

Final deadline to file amended tax return (Form 1040X) for tax year 2008 and still claim a tax refund. (Be sure to mail the amended return well before April 17th to make sure your tax refund will be processed in a timely manner. And be sure to obtain proof of mailing, such as a certified mail receipt.)

Deadline to file estate income tax or trust income tax returns (Form 1041) or to request an automatic 5-month extension of time to file (Form 7004).

Deadline to file partnership tax returns (Form 1065) or to request an automatic 5-month extension of time to file (Form 7004).

Final deadline for estates, trusts, or partnerships to file an amended tax return and still claim a tax refund for the year 2009 .

May 15, 2013

Deadline for non-profit organizations to file information returns (Form 990), or request an extension (Form 8868).

June 17, 2013

2nd quarter estimated tax payments due for the 2013 tax year.

Deadline for US citizens living abroad to file individual tax returns and to pay any tax due. You can request an additional 4-month extension (Form 4868). (You can request an automatic extension by April 15th instead if you want to.) I provide useful information for claiming the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and the Foreign Tax Credit , two tax breaks essential for Americans working abroad.

July 1, 2013

Deadline to file TD F 90-22.1 Report of Foreign Bank Accounts for the year 2011. This report is required if you have over $10,000 (in aggregate) held in foreign bank accounts.

September 16, 2013

3rd quarter estimated tax payments due for the 2013 tax year.

Final deadline to file corporate tax returns if an extension was requested. (Forms 1120, 1120A, 1120S).

Final deadline to file trust income tax returns (Form 1041) if an extension was requested.

Final deadline to file partnership tax returns (Form 1065) if an extension was requested.

October 1, 2013

Final deadline for self-employed persons or employers to establish a SIMPLE IRA for the year 2012.

October 15, 2013

Final deadline to file individual tax returns (with extension).

Last day the IRS will accept an electronically filed tax return for the year 2012. If filing after October 15th, you'll need to mail in your tax return for processing.

Final deadline to fund a SEP-IRA or solo 401(k) for tax year 2012 if you requested an automatic extension of time to file.

November 2013

Start planning any year-end tax moves.

December 2, 2013

If you are covered by an HSA-compatible health insurance policy as of December 1st, you'll be eligible to contribute the full amount to a Health Savings Account for the year.

December 31, 2013

Last day to make any tax moves for the year 2013. Last day to set up a solo 401(k) for self-employed persons.

Marital status on this date determines your marital status for the whole year.

Source: Tax Calendars for 2012 (IRS Publication 509)

Retention Guide:

Storing tax records: How long is long enough?

Federal law requires you to maintain copies of your tax returns and supporting documents for three years. This is called the "three-year law" and leads many people to believe they're safe provided they retain their documents for this period of time.

However, if the IRS believes you have significantly underreported your income (by 25 percent or more), or believes there may be indication of fraud, it may go back six years in an audit. To be safe, use the following guidelines.

Business Records To Keep...Personal Records To Keep...
         1 Year         1 Year
         3 Years         3 Years
         6 Years         6 Years
         Forever         Forever

Business Documents To Keep For One Year

Business Documents To Keep For Three Years

Business Documents To Keep For Six Years

Business Records To Keep Forever

While federal guidelines do not require you to keep tax records "forever," in many cases there will be other reasons you'll want to retain these documents indefinitely.

Personal Documents To Keep For One Year

Personal Documents To Keep For Three Years

Personal Documents To Keep For Six Years

Personal Records To Keep Forever

Special Circumstances

Depreciation Schedules and Other Capital Asset Records (keep for 3 years after the tax life of the asset)

Tax Rates

2012 Tax Rates

The year 2012 could be the last year for America's current tax rate structure. Six tax rates, ranging from 10% to 35%, have been in place since 2003. The Tax Relief Act of 2010 temporarily extended the current tax rate structure through the end of 2012. Tax rates will revert automatically to their pre-2003 levels unless new legislation is passed.

For 2012, there will be six tax rates of:

The tax rates for 2013 are scheduled to change as follows: the 10% rate will be collapsed into the 15% rate; the 25% rate will become 28%; the 28% rate will become 31%; the 33% rate will become 36%; and the 35% rate will become 39.6%. These tax rate changes will take effect beginning in 2013 absent further legislation.

Capital gain income might be taxed at different rates. There are special capital gains tax rates that apply for dividends, long-term investments, collectibles, and certain types of real estate.

Note: These tax rate schedules are provided for tax planning purposes. To compute your actual income tax, please see the 2012 instructions for Form 1040 and the 2012 Tax Tables.

Each tax rate applies to a range of income, which is called a tax bracket. Each tax rate applies to a specific range of taxable income, which is income after various deductions have been subtracted.

Single Filing Status

[Tax Rate Schedule X, Internal Revenue Code section 1(c)]

Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er) Filing Status

[Tax Rate Schedule Y-1, Internal Revenue Code section 1(a)]

Married Filing Separately Filing Status

[Tax Rate Schedule Y-2, Internal Revenue Code section 1(d)]

Head of Household Filing Status

[Tax Rate Schedule Z, Internal Revenue Code section 1(b)]

How Marginal Tax Rates are Used

Individuals can use the tax rate schedules in a number of ways to help plan their finances. You can use these tax rates to figure out how much tax you will pay on extra income you earn. For a taxpayer in the 25% tax bracket, extra income will be taxed at that rate until the taxpayer reaches the next tax bracket.

Alternatively, you can use these tax rates to figure out how much tax you will save by increasing your deductions. A taxpayer in the 28% tax bracket, for example, will save 28 cents in federal tax for every dollar spent on a tax-deductible expense, such as mortgage interest or charity.

Be aware that marginal tax rates interact with other tax rates, including the alternative minimum tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare tax rates. In particular, the alternative minimum tax can push income into a higher tax rate or eliminate the tax savings of deductions.

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