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Tax extension deadline Oct. 15: What to know if you still haven’t filed a 2020 tax return

Tax Day is May 17th

Submitting for an extension offers taxpayers additional time, however there are some penalties to concentrate on. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

Whereas tax day this yr was prolonged till Could 17, thousands and thousands of taxpayers nonetheless needed to rush to file their 2020 tax return. Many opted to file for an extension to collect their data or get skilled recommendation or to keep away from potential errors. However that tax extension deadline is now lower than a month away. 

And lacking the Oct. 15 submitting date can imply you may owe late charges or extra curiosity. Bear in mind, an extension would not postpone having to pay taxes that you just owe, it simply offers you additional time to file your return. The IRS continues to be offering a number of electronic filing options, together with free file for people whose earnings is $72,000. 

If you have not but filed your 2020 tax return, you could possibly be lacking out on cash, like a tax refund, stimulus checks or child tax credit funds. For those who wait too lengthy to file and declare a refund, the IRS says you could possibly danger shedding it fully. We’ll clarify under the right way to know if the deadline applies to you, who will get extra time to file and what occurs should you miss the October deadline. Here is the right way to track your IRS tax refund and what to learn about refunds on 2020 unemployment benefits

How do I do know if a tax extension applies to me? 

The IRS may have granted a submitting extension should you filed Form 4868 (PDF) both by paper or electronically utilizing e-file earlier than the Could 17 submitting deadline. You’ll have needed to pay all or a part of your estimated earnings tax due utilizing Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or utilizing a debit or credit card, and notice that you just have been submitting for an extension.

Some taxpayers are mechanically granted extra time to file. This contains navy personnel who’re serving in a fight zone or individuals in federally declared disaster areas.

Can I file my 2020 tax return electronically? 

The IRS says that taxpayers can file and schedule their federal tax funds on-line, by telephone or with the cell IRS2Go app.

If it is advisable discover a tax software program service to make use of, and also you make $72,000 or much less, you’ll find an IRS-approved free filing service simply. You may want to collect the next data: earnings statements (W2s or 1099s); any changes to your earnings; your present submitting standing (single, married, submitting collectively); and dependent data. For those who make greater than $72,000, you should use the Free File Fillable form.

If you have not already made a tax fee, the IRS prefers that funds be made electronically, and presents a wide range of methods to take action, together with IRS Direct Pay, which is instantly linked to a checking or financial savings account. Another choice is by bank card utilizing the cell IRS2Go app, or via the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System

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Did submitting an extension postpone the cash I owe to the IRS? 

No. Extending your submitting deadline to October did not delay if you needed to pay taxes that you could be owe. In response to the IRS, you wanted to estimate and pay at the very least 90% of your tax legal responsibility by Could 17 to avoid late fees. In any other case, you’ll have accrued curiosity on what you owe, which you may ultimately must pay — plus doable penalties — on high of your earnings taxes. 

The late-payment penalty is often 0.5% per thirty days of the excellent tax not paid by the submitting deadline, maxing out at 25%. The IRS may challenge a late-filing penalty of 5% of the quantity due for each month or partial month your tax return is late. In case your return is filed greater than 60 days after the due date, the minimal late-filing penalty is both $435 or 100% of the unpaid tax (whichever is much less). 

For particular person taxpayers, penalties and curiosity will cease accruing solely when your stability is paid in full. For extra on penalties or to work out a fee plan with the IRS, check out their website page

Will submitting my 2020 return influence my stimulus funds?

If the IRS owes you cash from the primary two stimulus checks — possibly you did not obtain both examine or obtained lower than you certified for — you possibly can declare the lacking funds via a recovery rebate credit in your 2020 tax type. This holds even should you’re not often required to file taxes. So the longer you wait to file, the longer it will take to get your lacking stimulus fee. 

The IRS says it would mechanically consider your eligibility for the third stimulus examine when your 2020 return is processed. If the IRS calculated the quantity of your third stimulus fee utilizing your 2019 tax return, you could possibly qualify for extra money as a so-called “plus-up fee” as soon as the IRS receives 2020 taxes and recalculates your whole. Nonetheless, till you file a 2020 tax return, the IRS will not have your new earnings or dependent data on file. 

The IRS plans to challenge eligible taxpayers third stimulus funds and plus-up funds via the top of 2021. 

Will my 2020 return have an effect on my youngster tax credit score funds?

The IRS will use your 2020 tax return to find out how a lot cash you qualify for as a part of the expanded child tax credit this yr. Advance month-to-month funds began in July and can proceed via December. For those who’ve waited till a lot later to file your 2020 return, the IRS may have used your 2019 tax return to calculate your preliminary funds. 

For those who’ve had a change in earnings or added a brand new dependent since that older return was processed, you could possibly get much less cash than you qualify for this yr. Here is every little thing to know concerning the IRS Update Portal, which helps you to unenroll from the advance month-to-month installments and replace your family data. 

For those who did not file your 2019 or 2020 tax return, and you do not plan to, you could possibly nonetheless be eligible for the 2021 youngster tax credit score. You’d must register on the IRS non-filer portal earlier than Oct. 15. 

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Will my refund be delayed if I file a tax extension?

The timeline for getting your earnings tax refund — or your refund plus excellent stimulus cash — will depend on if you file. When you have till Oct. 15 to submit your return should you’ve filed an extension, it doesn’t suggest it’s a must to wait that lengthy to file.

The IRS is experiencing delays and has an enormous backlog of unprocessed returns due to the pandemic, so in some conditions, it may take for much longer than the common 21 days to challenge refunds. Some refunds, particularly for extra difficult returns or people who want corrections, are taking up to 120 days

How can I view my tax account on-line?

A simple approach to overview all of your tax-related particulars, together with your tackle and fee plan particulars, is to entry your IRS account online. In response to the IRS, taxpayers can use the knowledge from their account if they should entry their adjusted gross earnings, discover their stimulus fee quantities or overview their estimated tax funds or credit. Accessing your tax transcript gives you all of the data needed you probably have a tax drawback or lacking fee. 

If in case you have any further questions you possibly can go go to the IRS’ Interactive Tax Assistant to get assist. 

For extra tax data, here is an explainer on the distinction between a tax refund and a tax return, and here is why you would possibly need to sign up for direct deposit if you file your taxes.

https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/tax-extension-deadline-oct-15-what-to-know-if-you-still-havent-filed-a-2020-tax-return/#ftag=CADf328eec | Tax extension deadline Oct. 15: What to know should you nonetheless have not filed a 2020 tax return

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