8 Financial Dates and Deadlines in May 2021

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Life moves quickly. It’s easy to get distracted. But that can be costly.

Miss an important financial date or deadline, and you could be on the hook for a penalty or lose out on a limited-time opportunity to save money.

Enter our “Money Calendar” series.

In this edition, we’ve rounded up the noteworthy money dates in May 2021. Take a look and mark your calendar with any dates that apply to you.

May 17 — 7 income tax deadlines

This is the federal deadline for:

  1. Filing 2020 returns or requesting an extension: If you’re unable to file by May 17, you can request an extension until Oct. 15. Just keep in mind that it’s only an extension for filing your return. It does not give you more time to pay, so expect to incur late penalties and interest charges if you don’t pay by May 17.
  2. Contributing to an individual retirement account (IRA) for the 2020 tax year: This applies to both traditional and Roth IRAs. The base contribution limit for these accounts for 2020 is $6,000. Folks who are 50 or older also can make an additional “catch-up” contribution of $1,000.
  3. Paying the 10% penalty on early withdrawals from IRAs or workplace retirement plans: To learn about this penalty, check out “3 Tax Penalties That Can Ding Your Retirement Accounts.”
  4. Contributing to health savings accounts (HSAs) — which are a type of tax-advantaged account for people with high-deductible health insurance — for the 2020 tax year: The base contribution limit for these accounts for 2020 is $3,550 for people with self-only coverage and $7,100 for those with family coverage. People who are 55 or older can make an additional contribution of $1,000.
  5. Contributing to Archer medical savings accounts (Archer MSAs) — which are another type of account that offers tax benefits to help offset health care costs — for the 2020 tax year. You can learn more about such accounts in IRS Publication 969: Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans.
  6. Contributing to Coverdell education savings accounts (Coverdell ESAs), which you can learn more about in IRS Topic No. 310: Coverdell Education Savings Accounts.

Most states also have extended their income tax deadline to May 17. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants breaks down the details in a chart on its website.

May 29-31 — Texas Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday

Just as some states offer back-to-school sales tax holidays, during which they waive sales taxes on purchases like school supplies, some states offer Energy Star tax holidays. During these periods, sales taxes are waived for products that have earned the federal Energy Star certification for their efficiency.

Texas’ 2021 Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday falls on Memorial Day weekend. Lists of products that do and do not qualify for the tax break are available on the Texas comptroller’s website.

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