Each year, in the United States, tax season runs from January 1 to April 15 for submitting and paying taxes for the previous tax year. In most states that levy income taxes, Tax Day is the deadline for filing federal tax returns and paying taxes. Residents of all states have the same deadline for submitting state income taxes.
What You Should Know
- It is generally on April 15 or the day following Tax Day that individuals must file and pay their federal income taxes.
- In the event that April 15 falls on a weekend, holiday, or other special conditions, the IRS will extend the deadline.
- If the deadline is reached but you are not able to pay your taxes, you can ask for a six-month extension for filing your taxes.
Since April 15th is the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia, 2021 tax returns were due on April 18, 2022, which was later due to the IRS holiday. The Patriots’ Day holiday in Massachusetts and Maine meant that the deadline for filing was April 19, 2022.
Tax Day: Understanding it
Everyone who earns income must file a tax return on Tax Day, including people who have an employer deducting taxes from their pay. It also includes self-employed people and small business owners who must file quarterly to pay estimated taxes and then file annual returns to square up their accounts.
Social Security, pensions, investment income, and retirement account withdrawals are all considered income by retirees when they file income taxes on Tax Day. A person under 65 who earned an income of $12,550 or more in 2021, or a person 65 or older who earned $14,250 or more, is required to file.
Tax Day is a due date for federal individual income tax returns and tax payments. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expects federal income tax returns to be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by April 15. For those who file on a calendar year, this date applies. For those using a fiscal year, your tax return must be filed by the 15th of the fourth month after the end of your fiscal year. In other words, if your fiscal tax year ends on June 30, you have until October 15, 2015 to file your federal tax return.
Depending on the state, state tax deadlines may differ from federal deadlines. Check with your state tax agency to confirm due dates if you are required to file a state income tax return.
Extending the deadline
Tax extensions can give you six months more time to prepare your taxes, but your payment is still due on tax day.
- Include your estimated payment on your extension form with the IRS Free File tool
- Indicate that your payment is for an extension when you pay your estimated tax bill
The date by which your original tax payment is due must be filed before the extension request is submitted.
Due dates for tax filings that fall on weekends or legal holidays are moved to the next business day. Tax Day is affected only by Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington, D.C., that recognizes the abolition of slavery in the U.S. and is celebrated on April 16.
The deadline for filing your taxes may also be pushed back if Tax Day falls on a legal holiday in your state or in the state where you are required to do so. Tax Day may be delayed in Maine and Massachusetts due to Patriots’ Day, a statewide legal holiday that falls on the third Monday of April.
According to the way certain holidays fell in 2022, the returns for 2021 were due on April 18, 2022, due to the Emancipation Day holiday on April 15, 2022 in the District of Columbia. Due to the Patriots’ Day holiday falling on the 18th in Maine and Massachusetts, the deadline to file was April 19, 2022.
As a result of rough economic times or natural disasters, the IRS may also extend tax filing deadlines. For example, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared a severe winter storm a major disaster in Texas in 2021. To address the situation, the IRS gave residents of Texas until June 15, 2021, to file their federal income taxes.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS extended the deadline for tax filing and payment to July 15, 2020. The pandemic caused economic hardships into 2021, prompting the IRS to extend the deadline for filing and paying. Federal individual income taxes were due May 17, 2021, but the IRS did not extend the deadline for quarterly estimated payments, which were due April 15, 2021.
Federal Income Taxes: How to File
The IRS offers a Free File Program, which allows individuals to file their income taxes for free through a partner site if their adjusted gross income (AGI) is $73,000 or less. Another option is to work with a tax professional or use tax preparation software. When your AGI exceeds $73,000, you can prepare your own taxes online for free by using IRS Free File.
Refunds are usually mailed to individuals within three weeks of the IRS receiving their return. If you expect a refund, you should file electronically. You can also mail a paper return to the IRS, but the process may take up to eight weeks.
There have been significant delays in processing paper returns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can you be penalized if you miss the deadline?
In order to avoid a failure-to-file penalty, the IRS recommends filing your late return as soon as possible after you miss the deadline. When it comes to refunds, there is no failure-to-file penalty from the IRS. However, there is a three-year statute of limitations. If you file more than three years after your deadline, you won’t receive your refund.
Failure-to-pay penalties and interest may apply if you miss the payment deadline. Extenuating circumstances may be allowed if you are experiencing hardship.
If you are working with a tax professional, make sure to schedule an appointment as soon as you receive your tax documents so that you do not miss the deadline. Start gathering your documents as soon as you receive them. Even if the IRS extends the due date, it might be in your best interest to file early, especially if you’re expecting a refund.