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Tax season 2023: When is this year’s deadline if you request an extension?

The tax agency allows filers to extend the deadline for returns but they can still impose late payment penalties if there’s an outstanding tax liability.

IRS tells certain filers to hold off on their tax filing
Andrew KellyREUTERS

Today, Monday 23 January, marks the start of tax season in the United States. The IRS has begun accepting returns relating to the 2022 tax year, with an estimated 168 million filers set to submit their taxes.

The deadline to file taxes is Tuesday, 18 April. Filers will need to ensure they get their submission in on time to avoid facing financial penalties.

However, if you think you need some extra time to complete your tax returns, you can apply for a six-month extension of that deadline. Anyone is entitled to request an extension and push back their deadline to Monday, 16 October.

How does the IRS tax extension work?

While it may sound like an easy way to buy some more time, an extension only relieves you from part of your tax-filing obligation. You can request an extra six months to file taxes but you can still be penalised financially if you have an outstanding tax balance by the original deadline date. It it simply designed to give filers more time to complete the documentation process.

Any outstanding tax payments beyond the 18 April deadline will be subject to interest and a late-payment penalties, regardless of whether you filed for an extension. However you can avoid this by estimating your tax bill and paying it off in time. Typically you will now be penalised if you have paid at least 90% of your total tax liability by the original deadline.

If you are eligible to use the IRS’ Free File tool – as 70% of filers are – then you can use the system to request an extension and calculate the amount of tax you may owe. This should give you some breathing space to get tax affairs in order while also avoiding potential interest payments and penalty fines.

What is the California tax deadline 2023?

For the past month areas of California have been struck with a series of severe winter storms that have dumped huge amounts of rainwater and snow on the Golden State. The storms have caused widespread flooding, mudslides and massive disruption for millions of Californians.

In response to the damage, the IRS have announced a blanket tax filing extension for California residents living in areas designated by FEMA. You can find an up-to-date list of areas eligible for tax relief on the IRS’ Tax Relief in Disaster Situations help page.

This automatic extension for eligible residents gives them until Monday, 15 May to submit their tax returns and ensure their tax liability is up to date. This extension also applies for businesses in California who have been affected by the storms.


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