2023 Tax Extension Deadline: What to Know Before Oct. 16

A tax extension could give you more time to file, but not more time to pay. File by Oct. 16 to avoid additional penalties and fees.
Tina Orem
Sabrina Parys
By Sabrina Parys and  Tina Orem 
Edited by Arielle O'Shea

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Each year, the IRS receives millions of tax extension requests.

If you're among the many people who submitted Form 4868 by tax day, you've bought yourself six more months to finish getting your 2022 tax return together.

Remember, though, that a tax extension is not an extension of time to pay your taxes — those were still due in April. Here's more about how the tax extension deadline works and other deadlines to consider.

Does the tax extension deadline apply to me?

If you filed IRS Form 4868 on or before the tax deadline, the tax extension deadline gives you until Oct. 16, 2023, to file your tax return. Even with an extension, you should pay at least 90% of your tax liability by the regular filing deadline. The IRS could hit you with late-payment penalties and interest if you don't.

If you didn't file for a tax extension on or before the April 18 deadline, and you didn't file your tax return either, your taxes will likely be very late in the eyes of the IRS. The agency can assess failure-to-file and failure-to-pay penalties, as well as interest on your outstanding tax bill.

Some exceptions:

What if I missed the deadline for applying for a tax extension?

If you didn't get a chance to submit a tax extension request by April 18, 2023, and still haven't filed, the IRS urges you to submit your tax return and pay your bill as quickly as possible to lower the penalties and interest that begin to apply immediately after tax day. In addition, the agency offers several options for those who can't afford their tax bill, including IRS payment plans, that can help you whittle away the balance over time.

If this is your first time missing the deadline and you meet a few other requirements, you may also be eligible for penalty abatement.

What happens if I miss the October tax extension deadline?

If you filed for an extension and miss the deadline:

  • You’ll owe more interest. A tax extension gives you more time to file your return, but payment was due April 18, no matter whether you got an extension or not. Interest starts accruing immediately, so if you miss both the April and October deadlines, your fees may be hefty.

  • You may owe a higher late-payment penalty if you didn’t pay 90% of your tax liability by the April deadline. The IRS' late-payment penalty normally is 0.5% per month of the outstanding tax not paid by the filing deadline. The maximum penalty is 25%.

    Internal Revenue Service. Failure to Pay Penalty.

  • You may owe a late-filing penalty. The IRS can also hit you with a late-filing penalty of 5% of the amount due for every month or partial month your tax return is late. The maximum penalty is 25% of the amount due.

    Internal Revenue Service. Failure to File Penalty. Accessed Apr 20, 2023.

How can I get an extension for my next tax return?

If you already know you’ll need more time to do your taxes in 2024, be sure to file IRS Form 4868 on or before next year's tax-filing deadline.

  • Again, getting an extension does not give you more time to pay the taxes you owe — it only gives you more time to file your tax return. When you file for an extension, you can estimate what you owe and send some or all of that with your extension request. If the estimated payment ends up being less than what you actually owe, you’ll likely need to pay interest on the difference. The longer that’s outstanding, the more interest you may rack up.

  • Don’t neglect filing just because you can’t pay the bill. The IRS offers installment plans if you can’t pay your taxes.

  • Federal: $50.95 to $94.95. Free version available for simple tax returns only.

  • State: $39.95 to $54.95.

  • Xpert Assist add-on provides access to tax pro and final review.

Promotion: NerdWallet users get 25% off federal and state filing costs.

  • Federal: $55 to $115. Free version available for simple tax returns only.

  • State: $0 to $49 per state.

  • Online Assist add-on gets you on-demand tax help.

  • Federal: $69 to $129. Free version available for simple returns only; not all taxpayers qualify.

  • State: $0 to $59 per state.

  • Live Assisted gets you access to a tax pro and a final review.

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  • Federal: $34.95 to $64.95 Free version available for simple tax returns only.

  • State: $0 to $39.95 per state.

  • On-demand tax help at Premium and Self-Employed tiers.

Promotion: NerdWallet users get 30% off federal filing costs. Use code NERD30.

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