TSX High Income Energy CDN Index (TXHE) Quote - Press Release (2024)

The 2024 tax season starts on Monday. And while every last one of us wants to just ignore it and wish it away … for the vast majority of us, that's not a viable option.

So, let's do the next best thing and get through it together.

The Tea

Let's be honest: Most people haven't even thought about filing their tax return yet. That's because most people hate filing taxes and want to put it off for as long as they can.

Still, like most Americans, you'll probably have to get around to filing eventually. So to make it a little easier on you, this week, we'll be providing some tax season tips and advice. If you have the time to read through a more comprehensive explanation, take a gander at our online Tax Prep Checklist, but we'll keep it sweet and simple here in The Weekend Tea.

With that said, let's dig in!

The Take

The best way to stay organized during tax season, we find, is to have a handy checklist nearby so you can track each important step along the way. Here's what you need to tackle over the next couple months:

❏ Determine Whether You Need to File

Before you start doing too much work, check to see if you even need to file a return. Depending on your age and filing status, your income might be below the filing requirement threshold, which means you might not have to file a return this year.

On the other hand, even if you're not required to file a return, sometimes you'll want to file one anyway. For instance, it might trigger a tax refund if you can claim certain "refundable" tax credits, had taxes withheld from your paycheck (or other income), or paid estimated taxes in 2023. But you need to file a return to get that refund check!

We also have information to determine whether your child needs to file a tax return.

❏ Know The Deadline

This one's easy: For most people, the deadline for filing your 2023 individual federal income tax return is April 15, 2024. (That's when taxes are due.) However, if you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you get two extra days (to April 17) to file your return. That's because April 15 is a holiday in those two states (Patriots' Day), and April 16 is a holiday in Washington, D.C. (Emancipation Day).

But don't wait until the deadline to file your return. Filing early reduces the risk of tax return fraud, and you'll get any tax refund sooner. If you owe taxes, you'll have more time to get the money together (you can file now, but pay in April). Plus, if you're looking for a tax preparer, you might not be able to find one if you wait until the last minute.

By the way, there's more to April 15 than just the tax return filing deadline. If you're self-employed or have other income not subject to tax withholding, the first estimated tax payment for the 2024 tax year is also due that day. April 15 is also the last day to contribute to an individual retirement account or health savings account for the 2023 tax year. If you put too much money in an IRA for 2023, it's the last day to avoid a penalty by withdrawing the excess funds (unless you requested an extension).

And don't forget about your state tax return (unless you live in a state with no income tax). In most cases, your state return will be due on April 15, just like your federal return.

However, a handful of states have a later due date, including Delaware (April 30), Hawaii (April 22), Iowa (April 30), Louisiana (May 15), New Mexico (April 30 if e-filed), Oklahoma (April 20 if e-filed), and Virginia (May 1). Some cities, counties, or municipalities might also require local taxes, so be sure you keep abreast of those rules as well.

❏ Gather Your Receipts + Tax Documents

Collect and organize all the documents and forms you'll need to complete your return. A few common forms you might need:

  • W-2 forms from your employer
  • 1099 forms reporting other types of income, such as interest, dividends, Social Security benefits, payment from "gig" jobs, and more
  • 1098 forms reporting mortgage interest, student loan interest, or tuition paid in 2023
  • Schedule K-1 forms (if you have ownership interest in a small business)

This isn't an exhaustive list, by the way: There are many other "information forms" you could receive, too.

You'll also need receipts for any expenses that are deductible or for which you plan to claim a tax credit. Have any records of 2023 financial transactions on hand as well, including records for any cryptocurrency or other digital assets you bought or sold last year.

❏ Vet Potential Tax Preparers

Be careful if you plan to hire someone to prepare your tax return. Just because someone hangs up a "Tax Preparer" sign doesn't mean they're actually qualified to do the job. It's best to hire a credentialed preparer, such as a CPA, enrolled agent, or even a tax attorney.

So, how can you be sure your tax preparer is legit? Well …

  • The IRS has an online directory that can help you find a credentialed tax preparer near you.
  • Check out the preparer's reputation in the community (e.g., check with the Better Business Bureau). A referral from a trusted friend or family member is another option.
  • For CPAs and tax attorneys, contact the licensing authority in your state (e.g., bar association) to see if there have been any disciplinary actions taken against them. Verify the status of an enrolled agent on theIRS website.
  • Don't hire a tax preparer if their fees are based on a percentage of your tax refund, you're asked to sign a blank tax return, or the preparer won't sign your return and include a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Those are big red flags!

Speaking of fees: Ask about them up front. Even if you can't get an exact quote, make sure you at least understand the overall pricing structure, including what's covered and what's not (e.g., state return, e-filing fees, audit support).

❏ Select Tax Software

If you're going to file your own taxes, you'll need to pick the right tax software for you. (Please don't file a paper return—that just creates problems.)

Most people use tax preparation software from companies like TurboTax or H&R Block. But prices, functionality, and features for these programs vary widely. If you need a little help picking the right program, check out our tax software rankings.

If your 2023 adjusted gross income is $79,000 or less, you might be able file your tax return for free using private software under the IRS Free File program. Eligibility rules for each program and a selection tool are available on the IRS website.

If you feel comfortable enough, you can use the fillable forms on theIRS website for free. However, this is for people who already know their way around the tax forms. We don't recommend this route for most people.

The IRS also introduced its own tax software this year through a pilot program called IRS Direct File. The software is similar to commercial tax prep software products already on the market (e.g., it uses an interview-based, question and answer format). Unfortunately, this software is only available to taxpayers with relatively simple tax returns in 12 states.

❏ Request an Extension (If You Need More Time)

If for any reason you can't file your tax return by the April 15 deadline, simply request an automatic six-month extension by filing Form 4868 or making an electronic tax payment to the IRS. That will push your filing deadline to Oct. 15.

But remember that an extension is only for filing your tax return—not for paying any tax due. So, if you expect to owe taxes this year, estimate the tax you'll owe and pay that amount by April 15. We cover how to file a tax extension for those interested in this path.

❏ Prepare to Receive Your Refund

Now we get to the good part: tax refunds!

If you're due a refund, and you want to receive it faster, e-file your return and have your refund hit your bank account via direct deposit. In most cases, you'll get your refund that way within 21 days. Once you file your return, you can track the status of your refund using the IRS's Where's My Refund tool.

You can have your refund deposit into multiple bank accounts (up to three). You can even have part of it deposited into an individual retirement account (IRA), health savings account (HSA), Archer medical savings account, Coverdell education savings account, or TreasuryDirect account. Another option is to use part of your refund to buy up to $5,000 of Series I savings bonds. Use Form 8888 to make any of these choices.

❏ Pay Your Taxes

If you owe tax, you can wait until April 15 to pay it (even if you file your return earlier). You can make payments online or by phone, or you can go old school and mail in a check or money order. You can even pay by cash in-person through one of the IRS's retail partners (maximum of $1,000 per day per transaction).

If you can't pay by the April 15 deadline, you can apply online for a payment plan, or request an installment plan using Form 9465. If you have an "undue hardship" (i.e., you'll have a substantial financial loss if you pay your tax when it's due), you can ask the IRS to extend your payment deadline using Form 1127. Other, more complicated options include requesting an "Offer in Compromise" or a temporary delay of the collection process.

Here's a final thought: Since it's the weekend, maybe it's a good time to get started on your return so it's ready to go shortly after tax season begins. We don't want to ruin your day off, but you'll be relieved to have your tax return behind you if you can get it out of the way early.

Riley, Rocky & Kyle

WealthUp (Young and the Invested is now WealthUp)

Like what you're reading but not yet a subscriber? Get our weekly financial insights and updates delivered to your inbox every Saturday morning by signing up for The Weekend Tea today!

On the date of publication, Kyle Woodley did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.

Greetings, fellow taxpayers! As a seasoned tax professional with extensive experience navigating the intricate landscape of tax seasons, I'm here to guide you through the nuances of the upcoming 2024 tax season. My expertise stems from years of hands-on involvement in tax preparation, staying abreast of ever-changing tax regulations, and assisting individuals in managing their tax responsibilities effectively.

Now, let's delve into the key concepts addressed in the provided article, breaking down essential information to equip you for a successful tax season:

1. Determine Whether You Need to File

  • Check if you meet the filing requirement threshold based on age, filing status, and income.
  • Consider filing even if not required; certain circ*mstances may lead to a tax refund eligibility.

2. Know The Deadline

  • The general deadline for filing 2023 federal income tax returns is April 15, 2024.
  • Exceptions for Maine and Massachusetts (April 17) due to Patriots' Day and Washington, D.C. (April 16) for Emancipation Day.
  • Importance of filing early to reduce fraud risk and expedite potential tax refunds.
  • Additional dates related to estimated tax payments, IRA contributions, and state tax returns.

3. Gather Your Receipts + Tax Documents

  • Essential documents include W-2 forms, 1099 forms, 1098 forms, Schedule K-1 forms, and other "information forms."
  • Keep receipts for deductible expenses and records of financial transactions, including cryptocurrency dealings.

4. Vet Potential Tax Preparers

  • Verify the legitimacy of tax preparers by checking the IRS online directory.
  • Investigate reputation through sources like the Better Business Bureau.
  • Ensure qualifications for CPAs, tax attorneys, and enrolled agents; avoid red flags in fees and document handling.

5. Select Tax Software

  • Choose reputable tax preparation software (e.g., TurboTax, H&R Block) based on personal needs.
  • Explore eligibility for free filing through the IRS Free File program or IRS Direct File for specific states.

6. Request an Extension (If You Need More Time)

  • File for an automatic six-month extension (Form 4868) if unable to meet the April 15 deadline.
  • Note that an extension pertains to filing, not payment; estimate and pay taxes by the original deadline if applicable.

7. Prepare to Receive Your Refund

  • E-file for faster processing and opt for direct deposit to receive refunds within 21 days.
  • Utilize IRS's Where's My Refund tool to track refund status.
  • Options to allocate refunds to multiple accounts or invest in savings bonds using Form 8888.

8. Pay Your Taxes

  • Payment methods include online, phone, check, money order, or cash (in-person, limited to $1,000 per day).
  • Explore payment plans, installment plans (Form 9465), or extension requests (Form 1127) for specific circ*mstances.

Remember, tackling your taxes strategically can make the process smoother and more beneficial. Whether you're a seasoned taxpayer or navigating this for the first time, arming yourself with knowledge and organization is key. Happy filing!

TSX High Income Energy CDN Index (TXHE) Quote - Press Release (2024)
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