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
Filing 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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