The Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers the deadline to file and pay tax owed for most individual income tax returns is Monday, April 18. The agency wants last-minute filers to know tax help is available to file a tax return, request an extension or make a payment, 24 hours a day on IRS.gov.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to file electronically because tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and reduces tax return errors by prompting taxpayers for missing information. The fastest way to receive a refund is to file electronically and use direct deposit.
IRS Free File is available to any person or family with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $73,000 or less in 2021. Leading tax software providers make their online products available for free. Taxpayers can use IRS Free File to claim the remaining amount of their Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit and other important credits. IRS Free File Fillable Forms is available to anyone who is comfortable preparing their own tax return – so there is a free option for everyone.
Online Account provides information to help file an accurate return, including Advance Child Tax Credit and Economic Impact Payment amounts, Adjusted Gross Income amounts from last year’s tax return, estimated tax payment amounts and refunds applied as a credit.
Get a 6-month extension to file
The IRS estimates 15 million taxpayers will request an extension of time to file and the easiest way to request an extension to file is using IRS Free File. In a matter of minutes, anyone can request an extension until October 17, using Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. An extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay, however, and taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and pay any amount due by the April 18 filing deadline to avoid penalties and interest.
Taxpayers can also request more time by paying all or part of their estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension. They can do this using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or a debit, credit card or digital wallet. This way they don’t have to file a separate extension form and will receive a confirmation number for their records.
IRS Form 4868 can also be downloaded from IRS.gov/forms, completed and addressed to the correct IRS office, and must be postmarked by the filing deadline.
Who automatically has more time to file?
The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in areas covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster declarations. Deadlines to file tax returns and make tax payments are extended for affected taxpayers in certain areas of Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky and Tennessee until May 16, 2022, and for Puerto Rico until June 15, 2022. For details on all available relief, visit the Around the Nation page on IRS.gov.
Special rules may apply for some military personnel serving in a combat zone or a qualified hazardous duty area. This also applies to individuals serving in the combat zone in support of the U.S. Armed Forces. A complete list of designated combat zone localities can be found in Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide, available on IRS.gov. U.S. citizens and resident aliens living outside the United States have until June 15, 2022, to file their 2021 tax returns and pay any tax due.
$1.5 billion in unclaimed 2018 refunds
The IRS estimates 1.5 million taxpayers did not file a 2018 tax return to claim tax refunds worth more than $1.5 billion. The three-year window of opportunity to claim a 2018 tax refund closes April 18, 2022, for most taxpayers. If they do not file a 2018 tax return by April 18, 2022, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the 2018 tax return is postmarked by that date.
Other April 18 deadlines
April 18 is also the deadline to make 2021 contributions to Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). Contributions can be made to a traditional or Roth IRA until the filing due date, April 18, but must be designated for 2021 to the financial institution. For more information, see Retirement Plans FAQs Regarding IRAs or Publication 590-A, Contributions to Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs).
Employment taxes are due April 18 for household employees including housekeepers, maids, babysitters, gardeners and others who work in or around a private residence as an employee if they were paid $2,300. For more information, see Publication 926, Household Employer’s Tax Guide.
The deadline to submit 2021 tax returns or an extension to file and pay tax owed this year falls on April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19, 2022, to file their returns due to the Patriots’ Day holiday in those states.
The first quarter estimated tax payment for 2022 is also due on April 18. Taxpayers are encouraged to check their withholding for 2022 after they’ve filed their 2021 tax return. It can protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year. It can also help taxpayers adjust their tax withheld up front, so taxpayers receive a bigger paycheck and smaller refund at tax time.