Mark your calendar with these important financial deadlines

Photo of a person putting important dates on their calendar.

If you’re like most, calendars tend to fill up fast. Here’s a few important dates that you may want to add to your 2018 reminders. 

March 31: Sign up for Medicare A & B

Are you or someone you know on Medicare? This is the last day to apply for Parts A & B. Coverage begins in July. Learn more or get enrolled at  

April 1: Required Minimum Distributions deadline

If you turned 70½ in 2017, this is for you!

  • For most, you’ll need to take the first required minimum distribution (RMD)1 by this date. And you’ll likely need to take an additional withdrawal by December 31st this year.
  • Each year after you’ll have until December 31st.
  • You may face a 50% penalty on the amount you owe if you miss this deadline

RMD rules can get complex, so consider consulting your financial or tax professional. 

April 17: Tax time

Got your taxes done in time for the Federal deadline? Good work.

  • Remember it’s also the deadline for your 1st quarter 2018 estimated Federal tax payment.
  • And the last day to max out your IRA contributions.

Need more time to file your taxes? Send IRS Form 4868 (PDF) by April 17th to get an automatic six-month extension to file. The extension pushes the filing deadline back to October 15, 2018.

June 30: Jump start on Federal student aid

Have a loved one attending college soon? The deadline for Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is most commonly June 30th.

But don’t wait. The earlier you file, the better. Filing early also helps ensure you don’t miss FAFSA state deadlines or college aid, which are usually much sooner.

July: Sending your kids to private school?

Families can now use funds from 529 plans for students attending private elementary and secondary school, thanks to the revised Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Funding now for the upcoming school year may help your future tax tab. Some states even offer a state tax deduction for your contributions.

Not every state will adopt the revision, so be sure to check out the rules for your state’s plan. 

November: Time to pay up on student loans

If you graduated college this past May, student loan payments generally kick in about 6 months after graduation.

Check out these tips to help manage student loan debt.

December: Deadlines for year-end tax moves

Plan for Required Minimum Distributions:

  • Visit with your tax advisor or financial professional about RMDs if you turned age 70½ during the year. 

Evaluate your employer benefits for the upcoming year:

  • Review your health election, 401(k) and other employee benefits to see if they are still meeting your goals.
  • Use any Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds for qualified medical expenses by December 31st. FSA money doesn’t rollover to the next year.

Consider maxing your funding for:

  • Your IRA (before the tax deadline in April)
  • Your Health Saving Account (HSA) by December 31st (HSAs roll over each year)

Get a jump start on the next tax season by organizing your tax documents.

Are you turning 65 this year?

When you’re celebrating your big day don't forget about looking into Medicare enrollment. You should do this within 3 months after your birthday. Visit to see the specific deadlines and get enrolled.

1 RMD: Required Minimum Distribution is a rule enforced by the IRS. RMDs force you to withdraw a minimum percentage of your pre-taxed retirement accounts (401(k), IRA, etc.). The amount required is figured by your previous year account balance and your life expectancy factor (based on the IRS Uniform Lifetime Table). If you have multiple 401(k) accounts, RMDs need to be figured for each account and taken separately. In certain 403(b)s or IRAs, each account must figure RMDs separately but the aggregate amount can be distributed from one account (if you have more than one account).

This document is intended to be educational in nature and is not intended to be taken as a recommendation.

The subject matter in this communication is provided with the understanding that Principal® is not rendering legal, accounting, or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all matters pertaining to legal, tax, or accounting obligations and requirements.

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