For those who missed the July 15 tax deadline, some taxpayers may have extra time to file and pay any taxes due without penalties and interest. These include:
- Members of the military who served or are currently in a combat zone. They qualify for an additional extension of at least 180 days to file and pay taxes.
- Support personnel in combat zones or a contingency operation in support of the Armed Forces. They may also qualify for a filing and payment extension of at least 180 days.
- Some disaster victims. Those who qualify have more time to file and pay what they owe.
File to get a tax refund
The only way to get a refund is to file a tax return. There is no penalty for filing after the deadline if a refund is due. The IRS reminds taxpayers that, while they continue to process electronic and paper tax returns, issue refunds, and accept payments, they’re experiencing delays in processing paper tax returns due to limited staffing. Taxpayers can track a refund using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov, IRS2Go, and by phone at 800-829-1954.
File to reduce penalties and interest
Normally taxpayers should file their tax return or request an extension and pay any taxes they owe by the deadline to avoid penalties and interest. Remember that an extension to file is not an extension to pay. Penalties and interest will apply to taxes owed after July 15. Even if a taxpayer can’t afford to immediately pay the taxes they owe, they should still file a tax return as soon as possible to reduce possible penalties.Ordinarily, the failure-to-file penalty is 5% of the tax owed for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. But if a return is filed more than 60 days after the due date, the minimum penalty is either $435 or 100% of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. The basic failure-to-pay penalty rate is generally 0.5% of unpaid tax owed for each month or part of a month.Taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on time often qualify for penalty relief. A taxpayer will usually qualify if they have filed and paid timely for the past three years and meet other requirements. For more information, see the first-time penalty abatement page on IRS.gov.