It’s final: The deadline to file your taxes is July 15.
Despite rumors that the date would be postponed, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department confirmed this week that July 15 is the final deadline to file your taxes and make payments for any taxes you owe.
The IRS has received more than 138 million individual tax filings, or 4.4% fewer than last year at this time. The 2020 numbers include those Americans who don’t usually file a return but did so this year to obtain a coronavirus stimulus check.
The original tax filing deadline of April 15 was extended in March to July 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Taxpayers who can’t file by that time can request an extension until Oct. 15, 2020 by filing a Form 4868 electronically by using Free File from the major tax prep companies or by mailing a paper form to the IRS address for your state by July 15.
You don’t have to file a separate extension form if you pay all or part of your estimated tax bill using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or a credit or debit card and indicating the payment is for an extension.
If you expect to get a tax refund, you won't get it until after you file your tax returns and the IRS processes that return. If you owe a tax bill, you still must pay any liability to the government by the July 15 deadline to avoid late-payment penalties and interest.
What if you can’t pay your tax bill?
The IRS encourages taxpayers who owe money to pay as much as possible by the July 15 deadline. If they are facing financial hardship for any reason and can’t pay their tax bill in full, there are several options for repaying over time.
“The IRS understands that those affected by the coronavirus may not be able to pay their balances in full by July 15, but we have many payment options to help taxpayers,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. “These easy-to-use payment options are available on IRS.gov, and most can be done automatically without reaching out to an IRS representative.”
The IRS offers three options for those who can’t pay: Installment plans, delayed payment, and offer in compromise.
Installment plans: The IRS offers short- or long-term monthly installment plans that you can apply for online with the IRS. You still must pay any accrued penalties and interest.
Delayed payment: The IRS may grant a temporary delay in payment if the agency deems you can’t pay any of your tax liability because of your financial situation. Interest and penalties also still accrue.
Offer in compromise: If an installment plan or delayed payment don’t work for you, you can offer to settle for less than what you owe. Not all offers are accepted.