What if I missed the filing deadline?

Modified on Tue, 21 Feb 2023 at 07:35 PM

If you miss the tax return filing deadline, you should try to file your taxes as soon as possible to prevent penalties and fees. If you’re approaching the deadline and need more time, we recommend filing tax form 4868, requesting a filing extension.

When you miss the tax filing deadline, the IRS may charge a failure-to-file penalty if you owe taxes. This penalty is 5% of your tax bill for every full or partial month your return is late. If you owe taxes, you can also receive a failure-to-pay penalty of 0.5% of your tax bill each month.

Even if you can’t pay your tax bill by the deadline, it’s important to file on time to avoid the failure-to-file penalty. You should also pay as much as you can of your tax bill by the filing date to lower your penalty amount.

If you’re worried about affording your tax bill, you can file on time and request an IRS payment plan that will stretch your tax bill out into more affordable monthly payments. If you file soon after the deadline, you may avoid these fees.

The IRS will not charge a penalty for late filing if you're owed a refund and file late. However, doing so could significantly delay your refund timing, particularly if the IRS experiences a backlog in 2023.

Ultimately, if you miss the tax filing deadline, you should file your taxes as soon as possible.

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