You’ve probably heard your 2017 tax return is not due until April 17 this year — but you can and should file it as early as Jan. 29.
Those are hardly the only key tax dates and deadlines in 2018 that you should be aware of, though. We’ve rounded up 10 — a few are tied to 2017 taxes, while the rest apply to 2018 taxes.
Not all of these dates will apply to everyone, but everyone should mark relevant dates on their calendars. Several of the deadlines are key to saving as much money as possible in tax-sheltered retirement accounts. These deadlines fall under four key dates:
- First day of the 2017 tax-filing season. As we recently pointed out, filing early offers several advantages, particularly in terms of protecting yourself from identity theft. This is especially important for the millions of Americans affected by last year’s Equifax data breach. For more on the topic, check out “3 Great Reasons to File Your 2017 Taxes Early.”
- RMD deadline for anyone who turned 70½ in 2017. This is the date these folks must take their first required minimum distributions (RMDs) from applicable retirement accounts. For folks who were 70½ or older going into 2017, the deadline for 2017 RMDs has already passed.
- Deadline for 2017 contributions to an individual retirement account (IRA). For the contribution limits, see “401(k), IRA Limits to Remain Unchanged for 2017.”
- Deadline for 2017 contributions to a health savings account (HSA). For contribution limits, see “More Americans Are Using This Tool to Save — Should You Join Them?“
- Deadline to file 2017 individual income tax returns. This is also the deadline to file for an extension.
- Deadline to make a charitable donation you can deduct on 2018 tax filing. Note that 2018 is the first year in which charitable donations totaling up to 60 percent of your taxable income may be tax-deductible. The recent federal tax code overhaul increased this amount from 50 percent.
- Deadline for 2018 contributions to most employer-sponsored retirement accounts. These include 401(k) accounts.
- Deadline to spend money in health flexible spending accounts. This applies if the 2018 health insurance plan year ends Dec. 31. Employers are allowed — but not required — to offer a limited extension.
- RMD deadline for anyone who was 70½ or older going into 2018. This is the date these folks must take 2018 required minimum distributions (RMDs). Folks who turned 70½ during 2018 have until April 1, 2019, to take 2018 RMDs.
- Expiration of the lower threshold for the federal income tax deduction for medical expenses. The tax code overhaul lowered this threshold to 7.5 percent of taxable income — but only for 2017 and 2018. It reverts to the pre-overhaul threshold of 10 percent starting in 2019, meaning it will be more difficult to qualify for the medical expense deduction after the 2018 tax year.
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