4 Tax Deadlines That Fall in April — and the High Price of Blowing Them

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Your 2018 federal tax return is due April 15 — or April 17 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts, due to regional holidays. But either way, this is just one of several tax deadlines that are almost here.

It’s easy to forget about the other IRS deadlines that fall on or around Tax Day, which can also be costly.

So, take a look at the following tax deadlines — and the price you could pay for missing any. They all fall during this month.

Return extension deadline

Can’t file your return on time? You can get an automatic six-month extension by filing IRS Form 4868, titled “Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.” But you must do so by April 15 or, if you live in Maine or Massachusetts, April 17.

Just note that this only extends the deadline for filing your return. You still must pay what you estimate you owe by Tax Day.

If you miss this deadline: You’re practically asking for a fine if you neither file a return nor request an extension on time. Ditto if you don’t pay on time. The IRS levies both a failure-to-file penalty and a failure-to-pay penalty — plus interest — as we detail in “9 Awful Things That Could Happen If You Don’t Pay Your Taxes.”

HSA contribution deadline

The deadline for putting money in a health savings account (HSA) for tax year 2018 — the year that matters when thinking of this season’s tax deadlines — is April 15, according to the IRS.

If you’re eligible to contribute to one of these tax-sheltered accounts, the maximum amount of money that you can stash in an HSA for 2018 is $3,450 for taxpayers with self-only health insurance coverage and $6,900 for those with family coverage.

If you miss this deadline: You can only contribute so much money to an HSA each year. So, if you blow the contribution deadline, you will have passed up one of a finite number of chances to add money to a tax-advantaged account.

IRA contribution deadline

The deadline for putting money in an individual retirement account (IRA) for tax year 2018 is April 15, says the IRS.

The IRA contribution limit for 2018 is $5,500 for people age 49 and younger. It’ a total of $6,500 — which includes a “catch-up” contribution of up to $1,000 — for those age 50 and older.

If you miss this deadline: As with HSAs, you will have passed up one of a finite number of chances to add savings to a tax-advantaged account.

Excess IRA contribution withdrawal deadline

The IRS also imposes a deadline by which excess IRA contributions must be withdrawn. This deadline is the due date of your tax return, including extensions, according to the federal agency.

In other words, if you contributed more than the IRS allows to IRA accounts for tax year 2018 — the $5,500 or $6,500 cap mentioned above — you’re running out of time to withdraw the excess amount.

If you miss this deadline: Uncle Sam will penalize you — to the annual tune of 6 percent of the excess amount left in your IRAs.

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