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

While tax day this year was extended until May 17, millions of taxpayers still had to rush to file their 2020 tax return. Many opted to file for an extension to gather their records or get professional advice or to avoid potential mistakes. But that tax extension deadline is now less than a month away.

And missing the Oct. 15 filing date can mean you’ll owe late fees or more interest. Remember, an extension doesn’t postpone having to pay taxes that you owe, it just gives you extra time to file your return. The IRS is still providing several electronic filing options, including free file for individuals whose income is $72,000.

If you haven’t yet filed your 2020 tax return, you could be missing out on money, like a tax refund, stimulus checks or child tax credit payments. If you wait too long to file and claim a refund, the IRS says you could risk losing it completely. We’ll explain below how to know if the deadline applies to you, who gets more time to file and what happens if you miss the October deadline. Here’s how to track your IRS tax refund and what to know about refunds on 2020 unemployment benefits.

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

The IRS will have granted a filing extension if you filed Form 4868 (PDF) either by paper or electronically using e-file before the May 17 filing deadline. You will have had to pay all or part of your estimated income tax due using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or using a debit or credit card, and note that you were filing for an extension.

Some taxpayers are automatically granted more time to file. This includes military personnel who are serving in a combat zone or persons 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 payments online, by phone or with the mobile IRS2Go app.

If you need to find a tax software service to use, and you make $72,000 or less, you can find an IRS-approved free filing service easily. You’ll need to gather the following information: income statements (W2s or 1099s); any adjustments to your income; your current filing status (single, married, filing jointly); and dependent information. If you make more than $72,000, you can use the Free File Fillable form.

If you haven’t already made a tax payment, the IRS prefers that payments be made electronically, and offers a variety of ways to do so, including IRS Direct Pay, which is directly linked to a checking or savings account. Another option is by credit card using the mobile IRS2Go app, or through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System…Read more>>


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