The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.
All of the 2020 Tax Season Changes (So Far)
In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for Congress to pass at least one law that alters how you file or pay for your taxes in the future. The 2020 tax season (the time you file and pay for your 2019 calendar year federal and state income tax returns) is no exception. Here’s what you need to know:
What changed for filing my 2019 taxes in 2020?
The Arizona Department of Revenue (AZDOR) made changes to filing your state income tax returns in 2020. Congress, on the other hand, passed changes that may affect your federal income tax returns, which include:
- Increased income tax brackets to keep up with inflation
- An increase to the standard deduction due to inflation
- No more penalties (also known as the individual mandate) for NOT having health insurance
- An increase in estate tax exemptions
The newest change came in the middle of March 2020 when Congress and the president approved a new summer deadline for filing your taxes.
When are my 2019 calendar year tax returns due in 2020?
Since 1955, the answer to the question “when are my taxes due?” has been the same every year: midnight on April 15th for both federal and Arizona state taxes. But because of the novel coronavirus, both deadlines have been extended. Additionally, taxpayers will not be charged with any late fees or penalties for filing after the traditional April 15th deadline.
The new deadline to file and pay for taxes owed is July 15, 2020, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) encourages you to file as soon as possible and file electronically with direct deposit.
Why? It’s the quickest way to get your refund and can prevent tax-related identify theft.
If you prefer to use a tax professional, make sure you can trust them by checking their background and asking to see their preparer tax identification number (PTIN).
How can I quickly get my refund?
According to the AZDOR, filing electronically is the fastest, most secure and accurate way to get your refund. The AZDOR also has tips to prepare your return that can help prevent delays, such as
- Fill out the form and every line accurately.
- Avoid calculation errors.
- Double-check your spelling (including names).
- Verify that all of your personal key information, like your social security number or tax ID number and account and routing numbers, are correct.
- Don’t forget to include your side hustles or gig work.
If you file by paper:
- Sign and date the return.
- Only use white paper and black ink.
- Don’t attach anything to the form.
What if I need an extension?
You can get an extension beyond July 15, 2020. You’ll need to make a request by filling out Form 4868 from the IRS (for federal and state or federal only) or by filling out Arizona Form 204 from the AZDOR (for state only).