The federal income tax filing due date for the 2020 tax season has come and gone despite an extension from the federal government. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the IRS extended the deadline from April 15th to May 17th of 2021. But what happens if you filed an extension or missed the 2021 tax deadline altogether? Here’s what you need to know.
What Happens If I Filed An Extension?
A tax extension will give you an extra six months to submit your return. This means, if you filed an extension on or before Tax Day(May 17th, 2021) your new 2021 tax deadline is October 15th, 2021. You don’t need a specific reason to request an extension.
However, a tax extension does not postpone payment on the taxes you owe and the IRS can impose a failure-to-pay penalty. That fee is typically about 0.5% per month until the tax is paid. It’s also important to note that filing a 2021 tax extension could delay your refund, money from COVID-19 stimulus checks, or (if you qualify) the child tax credit payment scheduled for July of 2021.
What Happens If I Missed The Deadline And Did Not File An Extension?
If you missed the 2021 tax filing deadline altogether and owe money, the IRS can impose the failure-to-file penalty. That fee is 5% of your unpaid taxes per month. If both a failure-to-file and a failure-to-pay penalty apply, the combined penalty is still 5% — 4.5% late filing and 0.5% late payment for each month your return was late.
If you’re expecting a refund, there is no penalty for filing late, but the longer you wait, the longer it takes to get your money back from the IRS. Keep in mind that there’s a three-year limit to claim your tax refund. After that period, the government will keep any unclaimed money.
What Should I Do Next?
If you missed the federal tax deadline and did not file an extension, it’s recommended to fill out your tax return as soon as possible and as you would normally. You can also file a late state return but will likely incur a penalty if you owe money. After completing and submitting your taxes, you should receive an email accepting or rejecting your return. The IRS will generally send that notice within 48 hours.
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