Whether you're an employee or self-employed, you may have work-related expenses you can deduct on your income tax return.
The standard deduction is a fixed amount, based on your filing status, that reduces your taxable income. You can use either the standard deduction or your actual itemized deductions on Form 1040, but not both.
The standard deduction for a single person or a married person filing separately is $6,350 (2017). Married couples filing jointly have a standard deduction of exactly twice as much as a single person's, at $12,700. If you file as a head of household, your standard deduction is $9,350.
If someone else, such as your parents, can claim you on their return, your standard deduction may be lower.
If you or your spouse are considered blind or are age 65 or older, you can claim an additional standard deduction amount. Each additional standard deduction amount is currently $1,250 ($1,550 if you use the Single or Head of Household filing status).
As you go through the step-by-step interview, TaxAct prompts you to enter itemized deductions, such as mortgage interest expense and charitable contributions. If your total itemized deductions are more than your standard deduction, TaxAct uses your itemized deductions to calculate your taxes.
One way TaxAct can help you find more tax deductions is to compare your deductions this year to the deductions you took last year. Use the TaxAct Prior Year Comparison Report to see if the numbers are similar, and if not, if you may be missing a valuable deduction.
April 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during March, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.
April 15 — Individuals *2017 Filing Deadline: 04-17, 2018*
File a 2017 income tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic 6 month extension of time to file the return, file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. For more information, see Form 4868. Then, file Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ by 10-15.
April 15 — Corporations *2017 Filing Deadline: 04-17, 2018*
File a 2017 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax due. Details
April 15 — Individuals
If you are not paying your 2018 income tax through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax during the year that way), pay the first installment of your 2018 estimated tax. Use Form 1040ES.
April 15 — Household Employers
If you paid cash wages of $2,000 or more in 2017 to a household employee, you must file Schedule H Details
April 15 — Corporations
Deposit the first installment of estimated income tax for 2017 Details
April 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.
April 15 — Household employers
If you paid cash wages of $$2,000 or more in 2017 to a household employee, you must file Schedule H (Form 1040). If you are required to file a federal income tax return (Form 1040), file Schedule H (Form 1040) with the return and report any household employment taxes. Report any federal unemployment (FUTA) tax on Schedule H (Form 1040) if you paid total cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter of 2016 or 2017 to household employees. Also, report any income tax you withheld for your household employees.
April 30 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2018. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full, you have until 05-10 to file the return.
April 30 — Federal unemployment tax.
Deposit the tax owed through 03-if more than $500.