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File a Tax Return

You’ll be asked to complete Form W-4 for your employer when you begin a new job. The information you enter on this form determines how much in the way of taxes is withheld from your pay. The decisions you make when you set up your payroll withholding by completing this form can easily result in under- or over-paying your taxes. Payroll withholding usually isn’t exactly right.

The IRS recommends updating your W-4 and withholding requirements whenever you experience a life event that could affect your tax obligation, such as marriage, the birth of a child, or receiving unexpected sources of income.1

You’re required to file a tax return every year to come up with a final tally of your tax situation. The process determines whether you owe additional taxes beyond what you’ve already paid, or if you’re owed a refund of the taxes that have been withheld. Your tax return for the tax year is due on or near April 15 of the following year.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Friday, March 20, 2020, that the deadline for individual returns for the 2019 tax year is pushed from April 15 to July 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The IRS confirmed this on its website on Saturday, March 21, 2020.

You might be able to reduce the taxes you owe—and get a refund of taxes you’ve already paid—by taking deductions and credits provided for in the tax code. Or you might have had additional income during the year that you’re legally required to report and from which no taxes were withheld. This can result in you owing the IRS more than you’ve paid.

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