TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service has pushed back this year’s deadline to file individual tax returns to Monday, May 17.
If you owe federal taxes and don’t file a tax return or extension before midnight, you will incur interest and penalties. The penalty for not filing taxes is usually 5% of any unpaid tax you would report on your return. The maximum penalty is 25%.
To avoid an underpayment penalty, you will usually have to pay at least 90% of the total you owe for the current tax year.
“If you go to prepare the tax return down the road, and you’re late and owe money there’s a late payment and filing penalty and the late filing penalty can be as much as 25% of the tax you owe,” said Certified Public Accountant Robert Shindler. “The disaster is not the time and the extension, the disaster is we’ve made a system so complicated the experts can’t figure it out.”
If you miss Monday’s deadline to file individual tax returns, Shindler says you can file Form 4868 to apply for an extension, which will give you until Oct. 15 to file your 2020 tax return. The form includes instructions for filing the form electronically or by mail.
“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to.”
Those who file electronically will usually have their refund deposited into their bank account within 21 days unless issues arise. It can take up to two months longer if you file a paper return and request a paper check.