What happens if I miss the tax deadline?
The US tax deadline, 18 April, is fast approaching. Extensions are available, but what happens if a taxpayer does not submit their return on time?
Taxes in most states are due on Tuesday, 18 April, giving those in the US a little under a month to complete and submit their return.
Unlike the last two years, the IRS will not be extending the deadline for all taxpayers. Throughout the pandemic, new laws like the American Rescue Plan and the HEROS Act allowed for the sending of stimulus checks and increased the value of key tax credits. To ensure all taxpayers received the correct refund, the deadline was extended to provide the tax authority more time.
However, IRS has offered some extensions to residents in Alabama, California, and Georgia after natural disasters have made it harder for filers to submit their returns on time.
What fees and penalties are applied if taxes go unpaid?
The amount applied in fees and penalties will depend on how late a taxpayer is in submitting their return or how long they have waited to pay the penalty. If you are given a penalty, the IRS will “send you a notice or letter by mail [which] will tell you about the penalty, the reason for the charge, and what to do next.” Be aware that interest will be applied to late payments, which can significantly impact what is owed if much time passes after a notice has been sent.
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How do I apply for an extension?
The IRS has offered some extensions to residents in places that have been victims of natural disasters. However, if you need more time for whatever reason, you can apply for an extension through 15 October 2023. There are no penalties for this option, but if you owe any taxes, you still need to pay them by 18 April since the extension only applies to submitting one’s refund.
To apply for your extension, you will need to fill out and submit a 4868 form. For those who are interested in requesting an extension, the IRS recommends that taxpayers “estimate and pay any owed taxes by your regular deadline to help avoid possible penalties.” An extension can also be requested using the IRS’ Free File, regardless of one’s income.