The federal income tax deadline has passed for most individual taxpayers. However, some haven’t filed their 2020 tax returns or paid their tax due.
If an individual taxpayer is owed a refund, there’s no penalty for filing late. On the other hand, tax owed and not paid by May 17, 2021 is subject to penalties and interest.
Anyone who didn’t file and owes tax should file a return as soon as they can and pay as much as they can to reduce penalties and interest. Electronic filing options, including IRS Free File, are still available on IRS.gov through October 15, 2021, to prepare and file returns electronically.
Taxpayers should then review their payment options. The IRS has information for taxpayers who can’t pay taxes they owe.
Some taxpayers may have extra time to file their tax returns and pay any taxes due. This includes some disaster victims, taxpayers living overseas, certain military service members and eligible support personnel in combat zones.
Filing soon is very important because the late-filing and late-payment penalties on unpaid taxes add up quickly. However, in some cases, a taxpayer filing after the deadline may qualify for penalty relief. For those charged a penalty, they may contact the IRS by calling the number on their notice and explain why they couldn’t file and pay on time.
Taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on time often qualify for administrative penalty relief. A taxpayer usually qualifies if they have filed and paid timely for the past three years and meet other requirements. For details, taxpayers should visit the first-time penalty abatement page on IRS.gov.
State filing and payment deadlines may be different from the federal deadline. A list of state tax division websites is available through the Federation of Tax Administrators.