Don’t Miss the Deadline: When Does Tax Season End and What Happens if You Do
As the end of the year approaches, many people start to think about filing their tax returns. Tax season typically runs from January to April, but the exact deadline varies depending on where you live and the type of return you need to file. Missing the deadline can have serious consequences, including penalties and interest charges, so it is important to understand the tax season timeline and take action before it is too late.
The tax season timeline varies depending on the type of return you need to file. For most individuals, the deadline for filing federal income tax returns is April 15th of each year. However, if April 15th falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is extended to the next business day. For example, if April 15th falls on a Saturday, the deadline would be Monday, April 17th.
The deadline for state income tax returns also varies depending on where you live. Some states have the same deadline as the federal government, while others have earlier or later deadlines. If you are unsure of your state’s deadline, you can check with your state’s tax agency or consult with a tax professional.
In addition to income tax returns, there are other types of tax returns that also have specific deadlines. For example, if you are self-employed or have income from a partnership, LLC, or S corporation, you may need to file a tax return by March 15th. This is also the deadline for partnerships and LLCs to file informational tax returns. If you miss this deadline, you may be subject to penalties and interest charges.
Another important tax deadline to keep in mind is the deadline for making contributions to retirement accounts. For most accounts, including traditional and Roth IRAs, the deadline for making contributions for a given tax year is April 15th of the following year. This means that if you want to make a contribution for the 2021 tax year, you have until April 15th, 2022 to do so. Contributions made after this deadline will be applied to the next tax year.
If you do miss the tax filing deadline, what happens next depends on whether you owe money or not. If you are due a refund, there is no penalty for filing late, but you may still want to file as soon as possible to get your money back. The longer you wait, the longer it will take for the IRS to process your return and issue your refund. In some cases, you may also forfeit your refund altogether if you wait too long to file.
If you owe tax but file your return late, you may be subject to penalties and interest charges. The penalty for filing late is usually 5% of the unpaid tax per month, up to a maximum of 25%. In addition, interest will accrue on the unpaid tax until it is paid in full. This can quickly add up, making it even more important to file your return on time or request an extension if you need more time to gather your documents or prepare your return.
If you can’t file your tax return by the deadline, you can request an extension to give yourself more time. The deadline for requesting an extension is usually the same as the tax filing deadline, so if you need more time to file your federal tax return, you must request an extension by April 15th. Most states also offer extensions, but the deadlines and requirements vary. To request an extension, you must file Form 4868 for federal returns and the appropriate form for your state.
It is important to note that an extension to file does not extend the deadline for paying any taxes you owe. If you owe tax, you must pay at least 90% of the amount due by the original filing deadline to avoid penalties and interest charges. If you can’t pay the full amount, you should still file your return and pay as much as you can to minimize penalties and interest.
In conclusion, the tax season deadline is an important date to keep in mind as the end of the year approaches. Missing the deadline can lead to penalties and interest charges, so it is important to file your return on time or request an extension if you need more time. If you owe tax, it is important to pay as much as you can by the original deadline to minimize penalties and interest charges. By staying on top of your tax obligations, you can avoid unnecessary stress and financial hardship.