Feb. 15--Here are facts to help in filing 2013 income tax returns:
Tax filing deadline
April 15 is a Tuesday this year. Don't forget this applies to Ohio taxes and municipal taxes, too.
You can get a six-month extension to Oct. 15 by filling out Form 4868 by April 15. You will owe interest on any taxes not paid by April 15.
Who must file
Being required to file a return depends on the type and amount of your gross income, filing status, age and whether someone is eligible to claim you as a dependent.
A taxpayer who is not the dependent of another taxpayer is required to file if his or her gross income exceeds certain dollar amounts (listed below).
In determining gross income, do not include Social Security benefits received.
Sometimes it is a good idea to file even though not required by law to do so because the filer might be eligible for a refund.
For example, you had income tax withheld from your pay; you qualify for the Earned Income Credit; or you qualify for the additional child tax credit.
If you worked during the year and had federal income tax withheld from your wages or made estimated tax payments, that potential refund can only be claimed by filing a federal tax return. By law, unclaimed refunds are forfeited to the U.S. Treasury after three years.
This year's general filing requirements are:
--$11,500 (single age 65 or older);
--$12,850 (head of household);
--$14.350 (head of household, 65 or older);
--$20,000 (married filing jointly),
--$21,200 (married filing jointly with one age 65 or older);
--$22,400 (married filing jointly with both over 65);
--$3,900 (married filing separately);
--$16,100 (qualifying widow or widower);
--$17,300 (qualifying widow or widower age 65 or older).
--$6,100 for singles and married individuals filing separately;
--$8,950 for head of household;
--$12,200 for married filing jointly and qualifying widow(ers).
Additional deductions for those over 65 or blind: $1,500 for single or head of household and $1,200 for married/qualifying widow(er).
Free File offers a way that people of all income levels can prepare and file their federal income tax returns electronically and for free. If your income was $58,000 or less in 2013, you can access brand-name tax software to help you do your taxes. If your 2013 income was more than $58,000, you can access Free File Fillable Forms. Information is online at www.IRS.gov/freefile.
The refund clock starts ticking when the IRS receives and accepts your tax return. It will be much quicker if you e-file. You can generally expect the IRS to issue your refund within 21 calendar days after the return is received.
The IRS said it issued more than nine out of 10 refunds to taxpayers in less than 21 days last year. The same results are expected again.
Most filers have three options for receiving their federal refund:
--Direct deposit (electronic funds transfer) into a checking, savings or other account;
--Purchase of U.S. Series I Savings Bonds.
You may request that your refund be directly deposited in up to three separate accounts, such as checking, savings and retirement, at banks or financial institutions in the United States. A split refund allows you to divide and direct deposit refunds in any proportion into different qualifying accounts.
Your refund should only be deposited directly into accounts that are in your own name, your spouse's name or both if it's a joint account.
To check on your refund, go to the "Where's My Refund" section online at www.irs.gov or call 800-829-1954.
Here are phone numbers offering help: