When Can I File Taxes for 2018?

Filing taxes is an annual obligation for many individuals and businesses. It is important to know the specific dates and guidelines for filing taxes to avoid any penalties or complications. For the tax year 2018, the filing deadlines and rules are as follows:

1. Individual Taxpayers: For most individual taxpayers, the deadline to file taxes for the year 2018 is April 15, 2019. However, if you need more time, you can file for an extension, which will give you until October 15, 2019, to file your taxes. It is important to note that an extension to file does not mean an extension to pay any taxes owed. You must estimate and pay any taxes owed by the original April 15 deadline to avoid penalties.

2. Self-Employed Individuals: Self-employed individuals, including freelancers and independent contractors, are required to file their taxes by the same deadlines as individual taxpayers. However, they may need to fill out additional forms, such as Schedule C, to report their business income and expenses.

3. Businesses: Different types of businesses have different filing deadlines. For example, partnerships and S corporations must file their tax returns by March 15, 2019. C corporations, on the other hand, have until April 15, 2019, to file their taxes. It is essential to consult with a tax professional or refer to the IRS guidelines to determine the specific filing deadlines for your type of business.

4. International Taxpayers: If you are a U.S. citizen or resident living abroad, you may be eligible for an automatic two-month extension to file your taxes. This means you have until June 15, 2019, to file your tax return. However, any taxes owed are still due by the original April 15 deadline.

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5. Military Personnel: Members of the military, including those serving in combat zones, have special rules and extensions for filing taxes. The deadline for military personnel serving in a combat zone may be extended for up to 180 days after leaving the combat zone.

6. E-Filing: The IRS encourages taxpayers to file their taxes electronically, as it is faster and more accurate. E-filing opens in January each year, and you can submit your tax return as soon as you have all the necessary documents and forms.

7. Refunds: If you are expecting a refund, filing your taxes early can expedite the process. The IRS usually starts issuing refunds within 21 days of receiving a complete and accurate return. You can check the status of your refund using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website.

8. Tax Professionals: If you are unsure about how to file your taxes or have complex financial situations, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a tax professional. They can help you navigate the tax laws, maximize deductions, and ensure compliance with all regulations.


1. Can I file my taxes before the deadline?
Yes, you can file your taxes as soon as you have all the necessary documents and forms. E-filing opens in January, and you can submit your return at any time.

2. What happens if I miss the deadline?
If you miss the deadline without filing for an extension, you may be subject to penalties and interest on any taxes owed. It is best to file your taxes on time or seek an extension if needed.

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3. How do I file for a tax extension?
To file for a tax extension, you need to submit Form 4868 to the IRS by the original filing deadline. This will give you an additional six months to file your tax return.

4. What if I can’t pay my taxes by the deadline?
If you can’t pay your taxes in full, it is still important to file your tax return on time. You can then arrange a payment plan with the IRS to pay your taxes over time.

5. Can I file my taxes for free?
Yes, there are several options available for individuals with lower incomes to file their taxes for free. The IRS provides the Free File program, and there are also free tax preparation services offered by non-profit organizations.

6. Do I need to keep a copy of my tax return?
Yes, it is important to keep a copy of your tax return and any supporting documents for at least three years. This will be useful in case of any audits or future reference.

7. What if I make a mistake on my tax return?
If you make a mistake on your tax return, you can file an amended return using Form 1040X. This allows you to correct any errors or omissions.

8. How long does it take to receive a tax refund?
The IRS usually issues refunds within 21 days of receiving a complete and accurate return. However, this timeline may be longer if there are any issues or discrepancies in your return.

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