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Federal Tax Return Deadline Reminder

by Ryan Guina

Federal taxes are due on April 15th each year, but you can actually wait until October 15th to file your tax return if you requested and received a federal tax extension. But filing taxes and paying taxes are two different things. Even though you can file our return in October, federal taxes are due on April 15th, so if you owed money, hopefully you paid it in April!

How to file a federal tax extension

tax deadline reminderFiling a federal tax extension is easy – just fill out Tax Form 4868 and mail it in to the IRS. You can download it from the IRS website. Then mail in the form and you are good to go. Alternatively, you can efile your extension paperwork by using tax preparation software like TurboTax or TaxCut, or by using IRS Free File Fillable Forms. If you pay state taxes, this may be all you need to do. Many states will automatically extend your state tax deadline if you receive a federal tax deadline extension.

Tax payments due by April 15th, but you can file later

If you owe money on your federal taxes you are required to pay it by April 15th, regardless of whether or not you received an extension on your taxes. The deadline only allows you to file your taxes in October (sending in the paperwork, vs. sending in the money). You don’t have anything to worry about if you are due to receive a refund.

Penalties for filing late

If you missed the payment deadline, you can expect to pay penalties on top of your regular tax bill. The monthly penalty for late payments is 5% of the unpaid taxes, up to a max of 25%. If you go over 60 days past due, the minimum late filing penalty is $100 or the balance of the taxes you owe, whichever is less. You may also be subjected to late payment penalties and interest if you did not pay your tax obligation by the April 15th tax deadline.

Important tax dates

  • Tax Return Filing Deadline – April 15
  • Tax Return Extended Filing Deadline – October 15
  • Estimated Taxes Due Dates – April 15, June 15, Sept 15, Jan 15

Note: If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is extended until the following business day.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Published or updated April 5, 2013.
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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Financial Samurai

Do people wait until Oct 15 essentially so they can save on paying taxes?

I would think if I was a multi-millionaire who owed let’s say $200,000 in taxes, waiting til Oct 15 and collecting the interest income would be the right strategy right?

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2 Ryan

Taxes are actually due on April 15th, so one must at least pay estimated taxes if they aren’t sure how much they owe. The extension just gives you additional time to finish your paperwork or take care of any other loose ends. I waited several months to file because this was my first year to file with my business and I needed an accountant to provide a second set of eyes on my return.But I paid estimated taxes in April and will receive a tax return pretty soon because I overpaid.

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3 Financial Samurai

Ah, gotcha. Thnx for sharing Ryan. Another thing I heard was K-1’s, but that gets a little more complicated I think.

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4 hh

I have a question: may I apply ITIN together when I file a federal tax extension? Or I still need to submit the ITIN application together with the tax return after extension approved? Thanks a lot!

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5 Ryan

Hello hh, I did not know much about this process, so I read the instructions are on the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96287,00.html

It states:

What is an ITIN? (…) Individuals must have a filing requirement and file a valid federal income tax return to receive an ITIN, unless they meet an exception.

and

How do I apply for an ITIN? Use the latest revision of Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to apply. Attach a valid federal income tax return, unless you qualify for an exception, and include your original, notarized, or certified proof of identity documents.

So, to answer your question, it seems as though you can file it at the same time as you send in your taxes. However, I am not 100% certain, so it is probably a good idea to call the IRS for verification. Best of luck!

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6 chip154

Hey my son missed the deadline for his tax return. Will he be able to fill for his tax return normally or is there a site where they specialize in filing tax returns that are late?

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7 Ryan

He should be able to file normally (via a paper tax return, or an electronic version of TurboTax, H&R Block at Home, etc) if he files before the October 15th deadline.

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