When is Tax Day?
The U.S. government is extending the tax-filing deadline to July 15, a move meant to give taxpayers extra time to deal with their taxes amid the coronavirus outbreak. Taxpayers now have an extra three months to both file and pay their taxes.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made the announcement on March 20, three days after the IRS said that many Americans could defer paying any taxes owed until July 15 but would still have to file their tax returns by April 15.
The IRS says taking advantage of the extra 90 days will not incur interest or penalties.
When are taxes due if you get an extension?
In years past, you had until the April tax deadline to put in for extension that meant you didn’t have to file your tax return until October.
In 2020, with the IRS pushing the tax-filing deadline to July 15, everyone gets an extra three months. If by that deadline you put in for a further extension, your tax return will be due on Oct. 15, 2020. (But know that a tax extension gets you more time to file your return, not more time to pay your taxes. Read more below.)
Tax deadlines for quarterly estimated payments in 2020
The IRS requires quarterly estimated tax payments from many people whose income isn’t subject to payroll withholding taxes (usually the self-employed, independent contractors or people with investment earnings). For estimated taxes, the answer to “when are taxes due?” varies: The year is divided into four payment periods, and each period has its own payment due date.
In 2020, the IRS has pushed the annual tax-filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, and that change also applies to first quarter 2020 estimated tax payments. It does not, however, impact second quarter 2020 payments — those are still due by June 15.
Here’s a look:
|If you earned income during this period||Estimated tax payment deadline|
|Sept. 1 - Dec. 31, 2019||Jan. 15, 2020|
|Jan. 1 – Mar. 31, 2020|
|April 1 – May 31, 2020||June 15|
|June 1 – Aug. 31, 2020||Sept. 15|
|Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, 2020||Jan. 15, 2021|
» MORE: See 9 ways you can pay the IRS
Six tax moves to consider before the tax deadline
1. File your 2017 tax return (yes, 2017)
If you were due a refund for the 2017 tax year but didn’t file a tax return, you only have until April 15 (the original tax deadline) to submit that old Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR and claim your money. So if you haven’t filed, get to work! Miss the 2020 tax deadline, and the U.S. Treasury gets to keep your money.
2. Max out your 401(k) by Dec. 31
- Contributions to a traditional 401(k) reduce your total taxable income for the year.
- For example, let’s say you make $65,000 a year and put $19,500 (the limit in 2020) into your 401(k). Instead of paying income taxes on the entire $65,000 you earned, you’ll only owe on $45,500 of your salary. In other words, saving for the future lets you shield $19,500 from taxes (and even more if you’re 50 or older; read more here).
- Many employers offer to match a portion of what you save, meaning that if you contribute enough to your account, you’ll also nab some free money.
3. Contribute to or open an IRA by Tax Day
- Contributions to a traditional IRA can be tax-deductible. See all the rules here.
- You have until the July 15, 2020, tax deadline to contribute to an IRA, either Roth or traditional, for the 2019 tax year.
- The 2019 maximum contribution amount for either type of IRA is $6,000 — or $7,000 if you’re age 50 or older.
4. Contribute to your Health Savings Account
- This medical account, available to individuals who have a high-deductible health plan, provides a tax-saving way to pay for out-of-pocket costs.
- You have until the July 15, 2020, tax deadline to contribute to an HSA for the 2019 tax year.
- The 2019 limits are $3,500 for an individual HSA owner and $7,000 for a family. For 2020, the individual coverage contribution limit is $3,550 and the family coverage limit is $7,100.
5. File for an extension by Tax Day (but still pay)
- If you can’t finish your return by the July 15 tax deadline, file IRS Form 4868. This will buy most taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file their tax returns. See more about how extensions work.
- A tax extension gets you more time to file your return, not more time to pay your taxes. You still must pay any tax you owe, or a good estimate of that amount, by the tax deadline. Include that payment with your extension request or you could face a late-payment penalty on the taxes due.
6. When are taxes due in your state?
Be sure to find out. Most taxpayers face state income taxes, and most of the states that have an income tax follow the federal tax deadline. Ask your state’s tax department for its due dates and how to get an extension, if necessary.