What Are The Tax Deadlines?
Your individual income tax return is generally due on April 15 of the
year following the tax year. The return must be postmarked by 11:59pm
by that date, or sent via an approved alternate method. (Note: If
this, or any date below, falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the due date
becomes the next Monday.)
If you cannot file your return by the due date, you can apply for an
automatic extension on Form 4868. This must be mailed for a postmark no
later than April 15. It will extend the filing deadline to August 15. Note
that an extension to file is NOT an extension to pay; your anticipated
balance due must be paid with the extension request, and any shortfall will
be subject to interest and possible penalty, even if an extension is in
If you cannot file by the expiration of the first extension, an additional
extension (not automatic) can be requested on Form 2688. This must be filed
before August 15, and would extend your filing deadline to October 15.
Any penalty for late filing of a return is based on the balance due with the
return. The basic late filing penalty is 5% per month (or any part of a
month), up to five months. (Therefore, a return even ONE day late will be
assessed a 5% penalty.) However, if the return is more than 60 days late,
the minimum penalty for this period will be the lesser of $100 or 100% of
the tax due.
If the amount of tax paid after April 15 exceeds 10% of your total tax for
the year, you will be assessed a late payment penalty equal to one half
percent (.5%) per month or part of a month, until paid. If the late filing
and late payment penalties apply to the same month, they will not exceed 5%
combined. Note that penalties may be increased in cases of gross negligence
in intentionally failing to comply with filing requirements.
Balances paid after April 15, whether or not you are on extension, are also
subject to interest charges, componded daily at a rate announced quarterly
by the Internal Revenue Service. You will be billed for any penalties or
interest due on your return.
If you cannot pay the balance owed on your return, you should FILE ON TIME
ANYWAY, in order to avoid a late filing penalty. The IRS will bill you for
any unpaid tax, penalty and interest. You can also request an installment
agreement (Form 9465), which involves a $43 user fee. If you file
electronically, you can also charge a balance due to most credit cards; see
your electronic filer for details.