The federal income tax deadline has passed for most individual taxpayers. However, some have not filed their 2020 tax returns or paid their tax due.
If an individual taxpayer is owed a refund, there is no penalty for filing late. On the other hand, tax owed and not paid by May 17, 2021 is subject to penalties and interest.
Anyone who did not file and owes tax should file a return as soon as they can and pay as much as they can to reduce penalties and interest. Electronic filing options are still available on IRS.gov through October 15, 2021, to prepare and file individual returns electronically.
Taxpayers should then review their payment options by contacting their tax preparer or by visiting https://www.irs.gov/payments. The IRS has information for taxpayers who cannot pay taxes they owe.
Some taxpayers may have extra time to file their tax returns and pay any taxes due. This includes some disaster victims, taxpayers living overseas, certain military service members and eligible support personnel in combat zones.
Filing soon is especially important because the late-filing and late-payment penalties on unpaid taxes add up quickly. In some cases, a taxpayer filing after the deadline may qualify for penalty relief. For those charged a penalty, they may contact the tax preparer or the IRS by calling the number on their notice and explain why they could not file and pay on time.
Taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on time often qualify for administrative penalty relief. A taxpayer usually qualifies if you have filed and paid timely for the past three years and meet other requirements. State filing and payment deadlines may be different from the federal deadline.