Column, Money Matters

What’s new this tax year?

Deadline for taxes is April 18

By Kevin Theissen

Tax season is upon us again. It officially began on Jan. 24, and you’ll need to file by April 18 (unless you file for an extension). The deadline is usually April 15 but the Washington D.C. holiday, Emancipation Day, falls on Saturday, April 16 and is observed on Friday, April 15. As a result, the federal and all state tax deadlines are moved to April 18. For those who live in Maine or Massachusetts, the tax filing deadline is April 19, as a result of the April 18 Patriots’ Day holiday which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord during the Revolutionary War.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment gave Congress the legal authority to tax the income of the people, establishing the individual income tax. The original deadline was March 1. It was changed to March 15 in 1918 and was changed to the current date of April 15 in 1955.

As you gather your tax information to file your 2021 taxes, many qualified taxpayers will want to watch for two new letters from the IRS – Letter 6419 and Letter 6475.

The first, Letter 6419, relates to child tax credit payments and will outline the total amount of advance child tax credit payments you received in 2021 and the number of qualifying children used to calculate the payments. Whether you are eligible for the credit or not, the letter informs you to file Schedule 8812. This will help you claim your remaining credit or determine if you must pay back any of the payments you received in 2021. If you were eligible to receive payments but didn’t, the IRS states you can claim the full amount of the child tax credit on your 2021 federal tax returns. Families who do not normally need to file a tax return should do so to receive their payments.

The second new document, Letter 6475, relates to the third stimulus payment and includes how much you received in stimulus money last year. Letter 6475 applies only to the third Economic Impact Payment, which was issued in March and distributed throughout the year. You can use this letter to determine if you can claim the recovery rebate credit on your return. While most eligible Americans already received their payment, those who are missing theirs should claim the recovery rebate credit. Stimulus checks aren’t taxable but do need to be reported when you file your taxes.

Kevin Theissen is the owner of HWC Financial in Ludlow.

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