Tax Day: When Was the Last Day to File Your Taxes?

Tax Day was April 15. However, some people have an extended tax deadline and extra time to file. Are you one of them?

Rendering of calendar with the 15th circled in red for taxes due date
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tax Day this year was April 15, 2024, when most people had to file their federal income tax return for the 2023 tax year. However, some taxpayers impacted by storms and natural disasters have more time to file

Special tax extension rules also apply to 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 15 to file their federal income tax return and pay whatever tax they are expected to owe. And they could receive an extension past October 15.

In any case, here's what you need to know about when taxes are due.

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Tax deadline extensions for natural disasters

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 15 tax filing and payment deadline is extended in certain states for individuals and businesses residing or located in the designated disaster areas.

Tax Extension: Do you need more time to file?

If, for some reason, you are not able to file your federal tax return on time, you can request an automatic six-month tax extension to October 15, 2024, by filing Form 4868 or making an electronic tax payment. To get an extension, you have to act by the original due date for your return, whether that is April 15, or another extended deadline date. 

Keep in mind, however, that an extension to file doesn't extend the time to pay your tax. If you don't pay the tax due by your tax deadline date, then you will owe interest on the unpaid tax and could be looking at additional penalties for filing and paying late.

Deadlines for state tax returns

Unless you live in a state with no income tax, 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 double check your state deadline to be sure. 

State rules regarding tax filing extensions may differ from federal rules. So, 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.


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.