Earn Taxes

Waited Until The Last Minute To File Taxes? You Can Get Them In Under The Wire Stress-Free

Beth Braverman  |  January 29, 2024

April 15 is the tax deadline in 2024. While that's coming up soon, you got this. Here's a step-by-step rundown on what to do.

Maybe you are a deadline junkie, or have been just generally swamped with the daily grind called life. We get it! If you haven’t already, it’s time to mark your calendar for Monday, April 15, which is tax day this year. And if you’re feeling behind, don’t worry – there’s still time to file your taxes. Take a deep breath and follow this guide.


Half the battle when it comes to filing your taxes is gathering all the documentation and data you’ll need. This includes last year’s tax returns for reference, a W-2 or 1099 from your employer, along with statements from your taxable accounts, mortgages, or student loans. Many (if not most) of these documents will have come in the mail (or e-mail) clearly labeled as “Important Tax Return Information.” Hopefully, you set them aside when you saw them come in. 

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“It can be easy to lose track of papers when you get them on January 15, and you don’t need them for another month,” says Terry Eisert, founder and owner of Eisert Wealth Management in Cincinnati, Ohio. If you didn’t put a file on your desk and label it “tax info” or at least start stashing them in your “drawer of important things” or other place where you put stuff you know you’ll someday need, start digging for the papers now.  

If you did any freelance or contract work this year, you’ll need to be on the lookout for any 1099 forms that are coming in. (And whether you get a 1099 or not, you’ll need to declare any freelance or “gig” income on your taxes if you received income of $400 or more, notes the IRS.) And, if you’re planning on itemizing deductions or claiming certain credits, you’ll need supporting documentation. This may include receipts for small-business expenses, for example, as well as for charitable donations.


For the 2023 tax year, there’s an increase in the standard deduction to $13,850 for single filers, $27,700 for married couples filing jointly, and $20,800 for heads of household. 

Another thing to keep an eye on is the Child Tax Credit, which is currently set at $2,000 per child under age 17. (Up to $1,600 of that credit is refundable, regardless of your income.) But a recent bipartisan tax plan proposed by House lawmakers could raise the refundable amount to $1,800 and apply a new per-child formula to determining your total credit, which would be a game changer for lower-income families with multiple children. The plan hasn’t passed yet, but if it does, the change would apply to the 2023 tax year.


If this year you find yourself in a crunch before April 15,  now is the perfect time to prepare for next year, and ensure you don’t find yourself right back here again. If you owed a lot of money, for example, you might want to consider increasing your withholding at work. It’s easy — just talk to HR and ask them for a fresh W-4, on which you’ll elect to have more withheld throughout the year. 

You can use this withholding calculator if you need help figuring out how much. Also, if there were documents you had trouble finding or you didn’t keep the best records, start making changes now that will make the process even simpler next year. 


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