The October tax extension deadline is fast approaching

  • The tax extension deadline is approaching, but there’s still time to skip extra penalties and fees. 
  • Filers have until Oct. 15 to submit their 2020 returns, originally due on May 17.
  • However, certain taxpayers, such as service members or those in disaster areas, may have more time.

The tax extension deadline for 2020 returns is approaching, but there's still time to avoid extra penalties and fees.

Filers have until Oct. 15 to submit their extended return, originally due on May 17. 

Those who filed for an extension can skip late penalties by sending in their return by Oct. 15. Otherwise, the failure to file penalty is 5% of levies owed per month, capped at 25%.

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There's typically no failure-to-file penalty when a refund is due, but taxpayers may risk losing their money by waiting too long to file. 

Taxpayers may use online filing options, such as IRS Free File, to send their return.

Additionally, states may have different deadlines for tax extensions, so filers should double-check the details through their state's tax website. 

More time to file

Although the Oct. 15 deadline applies to most people, there are exceptions for some taxpayers, according to the IRS. 

Members of the military or those serving in a combat zone generally have 180 days after leaving the area to file returns and pay taxes. 

And those in federally declared disaster areas, such as Hurricane Ida victims, may also have more time.

Taxes due 

While an extension offers more time to file, taxpayers still must pay levies owed from the original deadline.

The failure-to-pay penalty is 0.5% of unpaid taxes per month, with a maximum fee of 25%, until paying the balance.

Filers can make tax payments by mail, online, by phone or via the IRS2Go mobile app.

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