tax deadline

File a Tax Extension Now to Beat Today's Deadline

If you need more time to file your federal income tax return, you need to act now to avoid interest and penalties.

Federal income tax returns are due today (May 17)! However, if you can't submit your return before the stroke of midnight, you need to request a filing extension instead. The extension is automatic – you don't even need a reason for putting off your tax return – but you still have to ask for it. Once you do that, you won't have to file your 2020 federal tax return until October 15, 2021.

You still have to pay any taxes due, though. The extension is just for filing your return…not for paying what you owe. So, estimate how much tax you'll owe (if any) when you do file your return and pay that amount now. But make sure you don't estimate too low, because the IRS will charge you interest if you're short. Penalties might be tacked on, too.

You can request an extension by filing Form 4868 or by making an electronic tax payment. Either way, you need to act by midnight tonight.

For more information, see Tax Extension: How to Get More Time to File Your Tax Return.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
25 Best Kirkland Products You Should Buy at Costco
Smart Buying

25 Best Kirkland Products You Should Buy at Costco

Many of warehouse club Costco's store-branded Kirkland Signature items get high marks for quality and value. Check out our picks.
July 21, 2021
Warning: You May Have to Pay Back Your Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments
Tax Breaks

Warning: You May Have to Pay Back Your Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments

Unlike stimulus checks, you might have to repay your monthly child tax credit payments if you get too much money from the IRS.
July 16, 2021

Recommended

Don't Want Another Child Tax Credit Payment? Opt-Out by Midnight Tonight
Tax Breaks

Don't Want Another Child Tax Credit Payment? Opt-Out by Midnight Tonight

The next deadline for opting out of the monthly child credit payments is here. Use the IRS's Child Tax Credit Update Portal to unenroll today.
August 2, 2021
Will Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments Lower Your Tax Refund or Raise Your Tax Bill?
Tax Breaks

Will Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments Lower Your Tax Refund or Raise Your Tax Bill?

Everyone loves receiving large sums of money from Uncle Sam. But people who take advance child tax payments may take a hit on next year's tax refund.
July 31, 2021
IRS Is Sending More Unemployment Tax Refund Checks This Week
Coronavirus and Your Money

IRS Is Sending More Unemployment Tax Refund Checks This Week

The IRS is sending out an additional 1.5 million tax refunds to pay back Americans who qualify for the $10,200 unemployment compensation tax exemption…
July 28, 2021
10 States with the Highest Gas Taxes
taxes

10 States with the Highest Gas Taxes

COVID-19 has made us appreciate driving our cars more, but filling up the tank will cost you more in these states.
July 28, 2021