The October 15 Tax Filing Deadline is Fast Approaching

The October 15 Tax Filing Deadline is Fast Approaching

Did you file an extension for your 2020 federal income tax return? If so, you have about 2-weeks remaining to file your individual return, as it is due on or before October 15, 2021.

Date Due

In normal years, April 15 is Tax Day, however due to the COVID pandemic, the federal government pushed back this year’s Tax Day to May 17, allowing everyone more time to prepare and file their return.  With that being said, we had many clients contacting our firm to inquire if the extension deadline date was also pushed back. The answer is, No. 

If a taxpayer files for an extension using the IRS Form 4868, the IRS allows an additional six-months from the due date to get a tax return filed. The request for an extension is based from the original due date, which was still April 15, 2021, not the revised date of May 17, 2021.

Extension to File, Not Pay

A tax extension gives you until October 15 to file your return, however you should have paid your estimated taxes by Tax Day (May 17, 2021).  When you file for an extension, you should estimate what is owed in taxes and remit a portion or all of that amount to the IRS with the extension request. If the estimated payment was less than the tax amount owed, you will most likely be required to pay interest and possibly even penalties on the difference.

Why file for an extension?

Did you know that millions of taxpayers file for an extension every year? There are some benefits to filing for an extension and it is super simple to do. Extension requests are due by Tax Day (May 17 in 2021), so it is too late to request an extension now, but it may be something to consider in future years. Filing for an extension allows a taxpayer additional time for reflection and detail. Filing for an extension also allows people more time to gather records and seek additional professional advice. 

Automatic Extension

Some individuals may automatically qualify for an extension related to the filing and paying of federal income taxes, including members of the military stationed abroad or in a combat zone. 

Filing After the Extension

If you do not file your return by the October 15 deadline, be prepared for the IRS to impose “failure-to-file” penalties, which will be added to your account and will continue to accumulate until you do file your tax return.  However, individuals who are due a refund face no penalties if they have a late return.

Bottom Line

If you requested an extension and have a return that needs to be filed, make sure it is submitted on or before October 15, 2021. If you use a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), make sure they have all the documents required to complete and file your return, so they can do so in a timely manner.

If you have questions or need assistance, our expert accountants can help. Contact Kmetz, Elwell, Graham and Associates to see how we can help you.

Messina Shields
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Messina is the Firm Administrator at  Kmetz, Elwell, Graham and Associates and a blog contributor in the accounting and HR industries.

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