There have been a lot of changes to the tax code, and you’ll see some differences in your 2018 taxes this year as a result. For most people, the changes will be minor.

filing 2018 taxesThe good news is that according to the Tax Policy Center, 80% of Americans who file taxes will see a decrease in the amount of federal taxes they pay this year.

The new set of tax laws also reduced the penalty for not having health insurance to $0 and increased the medical expense deduction to 10% of adjusted gross income.

2019 Tax Filing Dates

  • Deadline to file 2018 taxes or request an extension from the IRS: April 15, 2019. (April 17, 2019, if you live in Maine or Massachusetts.)
  • The earliest date you can file 2018 taxes: last year it was January 29, but the date may be delayed by the IRS this year due to new tax laws taking effect.
  • Deadline to file 2018 taxes if you file for an extension: October 15, 2019. Use form 4868.
  • Date the earliest filers can expect a refund if they claimed EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) or ACTC (Additional Child Tax Credit:) The 3rd week of February. This allows the IRS to verify credits.

Important resources to help you after you file your 2018 taxes

  • Information about the Earned Income Tax Credit: claiming an EITC
  • Mobile app for the IRS: IRS2GO
  • How to track your tax refund: Where’s My Refund?
  • Information about tax filing dates, refunds, extensions, and deadlines:
  • Access information about your personal tax situation, including past years’ transcripts and information about how, when, and where to file your taxes: IRS Account Info
  • Taxes To Go

How soon will the IRS issue refunds for the 2018 tax year

The IRS estimates they’ll take fewer than 21 days, from the date of filing, to issue about 90% of the refunds owed to U.S. taxpayers who file before the April 15, 2019 deadline. This takes into consideration if you opt for direct deposit, whether your return is simple, and if you claim EITC or ACTC. You’ll find the most up-to-date information at Where’s My Refund? Online. The website is updated once every 24 hours. Tax returns with EITC and ACTC refunds may not see updates until after February 17, 2019.

2018 Income Tax Brackets*

* The tax rates are progressive. This means you pay the rate up to each level of income. For example, if you make $40,000, you’ll pay 10% on the first $9,525. Then 12% on the next $29,175, and 22% on the remaining $1,300.

Rate Individuals Married Filing Jointly
10% Up to $9,525 Up to $19,050
12% $9,526 to $38,700 $19,051 to $77,400
22% $38,701 to $82,500 $77,401 to $165,000
24% $82,501 to $157,500 $165,001 to $315,000

New standard deduction amounts for 2018

  • $12,000: single and married filing separately
  • $24,000 for married filing jointly
  • $18,0000 for heads of household

This deduction reduces taxable income according to the chart, above. You can choose to itemize deductions or take the standard deduction. If you are unsure which option will leave you with a lower tax bill, go ahead and consult a tax professional that offers a free, no-obligation quote. Using a professional tax service is the best way to make sure your taxes are done properly, and new laws are adhered to.

Taxes can be overwhelming. That's why we've created the Sunset Finance Guide to Tax Returns to provide more information. 

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