The general deadline to file your federal income tax return is here. But some people have a little extra time to file – are you one of them?

Here’s some good news if you haven’t filed your 2021 federal income tax return yet and thought you missed the deadline – you actually have a little more time to file or request a tax extension. While it’s true that tax returns are normally due on April 15 each year, the IRS has to shift the due date under certain circumstances. As a result, “Tax Day” this year is not on April 15.

Instead, most Americans have until midnight tonight (April 18) to file their federal tax returns for the 2021 tax year. Note that the word “most” in the previous sentence is in italics to emphasize it. That’s because residents of two states have until tomorrow night (April 19) to submit their federal tax forms to the IRS. Plus, victims of certain recent natural disaster also get more time to file their 1040s, with varying adjusted due dates depending on when the disaster hit. But whenever your deadline arrives, make sure you file your return before it expires to avoid stiff IRS penalties for being late.

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

As mentioned above, 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 is April 18 (today!) – so that became the new federal income tax filing deadline for most people.

Tax Day for Maine and Massachusetts Residents

Residents of Maine and Massachusetts get an extra day – 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, falls 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 can’t set the tax filing and payment due date on April 18 for taxpayers in those two states. As a result, the deadline is moved to the next business day for Maine and Massachusetts residents, which is tomorrow (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 has been extended for individuals and businesses residing or located in the disaster area.

So far, victims of the following natural disasters have been granted extensions that delay this year’s federal personal income tax filing and payment deadline:

Tax Extensions if You Can’t File Your Tax Return on Time

If for some reason you can’t file your federal tax return on time, it’s relatively easy to get an automatic six-month extension to October 17, 2022, by filing Form 4868 or making an electronic tax payment. But you must act by the original due date for your return, whether that’s April 18, April 19, or some other date.

Just remember that an extension to file your tax return doesn’t give you more time to pay your tax. If you don’t pay the IRS what you expect to owe in taxes by the original due date, you’ll be charged interest on the unpaid tax. You could also be hit with additional penalties for filing and paying late.

State Tax Return Due Dates

Unless you live in a state with no income tax, don’t forget to file your 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.

Original Article – Kiplinger

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