tax deadline

Tax Day 2022: When Was the Last Day to File Your Taxes (For Most People)

Federal income tax returns were due April 18 for most of us. But some people have some extra time to file – are you one of them?

Most Americans had to file their federal tax return for the 2021 tax year by April 18, 2022. Note that we said "most Americans." Taxpayers in two states had until April 19 to submit their 1040s to the IRS. Victims of certain natural disaster also get more time to file, with varying dates depending on when the disaster hit.

If for some reason you weren't able to file your federal tax return on time, hopefully you requested an automatic six-month tax extension to October 17, 2022, by filing Form 4868 or making an electronic tax payment. To get the extension, you had to act by the original due date for your return, whether that was April 18, April 19, or some other date. Keep in mind, however, that an extension to file doesn't extend the time to pay your tax. If you didn't pay up by your original due date, you'll owe interest on the unpaid tax and could be hit with additional penalties for filing and paying late.

Also note that special tax extension rules apply for Americans living abroad and people serving (or who served) in a combat zone or contingency operation. As a result, they might have more time beyond April 18 to file their 2021 tax return and pay whatever tax they are expected to owe, and they could receive an extension past October 17.

Why Are Taxes Due April 18 Instead of April 15 This Year?

Tax Day is usually on April 15. But when a tax deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, it's pushed back to the next available business day. April 15 was on a Friday this year, so the weekend rule didn't apply. But Emancipation Day was observed in the District of Columbia on April 15. The holiday honors the end of slavery in Washington, D.C. Since April 15 was a legal holiday in D.C., the IRS couldn't require tax returns to be filed that day. The next business day was April 18 – so that became the new federal income tax filing deadline this year for most people.

Tax Day for Maine and Massachusetts Residents

Residents of Maine and Massachusetts got an extra day this year – until April 19 – to file their federal income tax return. Why? Because Patriots' Day, an official holiday in Maine and Massachusetts that commemorates Revolutionary War battles, fell on April 18 this year. So, for the same reason Tax Day was moved from April 15 to April 18 for most people (i.e., a local holiday), the IRS couldn't set the tax filing and payment due date on April 18 for taxpayers in those two states. As a result, the deadline was moved to the next business day for Maine and Massachusetts residents, which was April 19.

Natural Disaster Victims Get Tax Filing and Payment Extensions

If the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declares a disaster area following a natural disaster, the IRS usually offers tax relief for the disaster victims in the form of tax filing and payment extensions. In the case of certain recent natural disasters, the April 18 (or April 19) tax filing and payment deadline was extended for individuals and businesses residing or located in the disaster area.

Victims of the following natural disasters were granted extensions that delay this year's federal personal income tax filing and payment deadline:

State Tax Return Due Dates

Unless you live in a state with no income tax, don't forget that you probably have to file a state tax return as well. Most states synch their income tax return deadline with the federal tax due date – but there are some states that have different deadlines (e.g., Maryland returns are due July 15 this year). State rules regarding tax filing extensions may differ from the federal rules, too. Check with the state tax agency where you live to find out when your state tax return is due and/or how to get an extension.

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