IRS Is Not Extending the Tax Deadline Again

Tax Day 2020 was already pushed back from April 15 to July 15, but it won't be delayed further.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The IRS has some bad news if you were hoping for more time to file your tax return. Due to COVID-19, the original due date for filing 2019 returns was already postponed from April 15 to July 15, 2020. However, several groups were pressuring the IRS to allow even more time to file returns and pay taxes this year. But the IRS shot down that idea and announced that there will not be another delay. So, you still only have until July 15 to get your taxes done and pay any tax due.

If you can't meet the July 15 deadline for whatever reason, you can request an automatic extension of time to file until October 15 by filing Form 4868 by July 15. While this will give you more time to file your return, it does not give you more time to pay any tax due. You still have to estimate your tax liability on the extension form and pay any amount due by July 15 to avoid penalties and interest.

You can also get an extension by paying all or part of the tax you owe using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or a credit or debit card. Make sure you indicate that the payment is for an extension. When getting an extension by making a payment, you don't have to file a separate extension form and will receive a confirmation number for your records.

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If you're facing hardships, including those related to the coronavirus pandemic, and can't pay the tax you owe, pay what they can now and look into the various IRS payment options for the remaining balance. They include setting up a payment plan, an "offer in compromise," or requesting a temporary collection delay. Another option is to take out a loan to pay the taxes due, since loan costs could be lower than the combined IRS interest and penalties.

Finally, don't forget about your state tax return. The due date for your state return could be different than the July 15 deadline for federal returns. Check with your state tax agency to double check the tax due date where you live.

Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.