The official tax deadline to file your federal income tax return each year can be a little shifty. Yes, it’s supposed to be April 15—unless something interferes with that timing, like the date falling on a weekend or a holiday. Tax deadlines are moved to the next business day when they fall on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday. Here are some other important deadlines that might apply to you this year.
On March 21 the IRS confirmed that Tax Day, the deadline for Individual Tax Returns for the 2019 tax year, would be pushed from the traditional April 15 to July 15 2020.
The Internal Revenue Service began processing tax returns on Jan. 27, 2020.
Deadlines in Calendar Year 2020 for 2019 Returns
Deadlines for returns are almost invariably in the spring, with extensions available until the fall:
- Individual income tax returns: July 15 falls on a Wednesday in 2020, so the filing deadline for your 2019 personal tax return is indeed July 15, 2020. We apply for an extension for all our clients, so we can file their Tax Returns until October 15, but they should have paid all taxes before July 15, 2020. The extension is only for filing, not for paying.
- Estimated tax payments for the 2019 tax year (IRS Form 1040): These were due in 2019 on April 15, June 15, and Sept. 15. They’re mostly payable during the tax year they apply to. An exception is the fourth and final estimated payment for the 2019 tax year. That’s due on Jan. 15, 2020.
- Partnership returns (IRS Form 1065): These are due March 16, 2020. The extended deadline is Sept. 15, 2020
- Estates and trusts income tax returns (IRS Form 1041): These are due July 15, 2020. Additional time can be requested by filing Form 7004.
- Gift tax returns (IRS Form 709): These are usually due April 15 in the year after the gift was made. For 2020, it’s July 15. Requesting a federal income tax return extension automatically extends this date as well until October 15.
- C-corporation income tax returns (IRS Form 1120): These are due July 15, 2020 for C corporations that operate on a calendar year. The extended deadline is Oct. 15, 2020. The deadline for C corp returns is the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the corporation’s fiscal year if the corporation operates on a fiscal rather than a calendar year
- S-corporation returns (IRS Form 1120-S): These returns are due March 16, 2020 for corporations on a calendar year. The extended deadline is Sept. 15, 2020. The deadline for S-corp and partnership returns is the 15th day of the third month following the end of the fiscal year if they’re on a fiscal year rather than a calendar year.
- FBAR: Foreign bank account reports (FinCen Form 114): These reports are due July 15, 2020. The extended deadline with Form 1040 is Oct. 15, 2020.
What If You Miss a Date?
You’ll probably be hit with a financial penalty, if only an extra interest charge, if you don’t submit your return and any payment due by the deadline. But the IRS should accept your money and your tax return and that will be the end of it unless there’s another problem.
How to Make Payments
File your return anyway and immediately apply for a payment plan if you can’t pay the tax you owe right away. The IRS will generally let you pay overtime as long as you make arrangements to do so. Go to IRS Direct Pay and have the payment debited directly from your bank account if you owe money and don’t want to send a check to the IRS via snail mail, risking all the extra time that might entail.
Weekends and Holidays Don’t Count
Any of these dates that fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday are bumped to the next business day. The key word here is “federal.”
If You Expect A Tax Refund
If you expect a tax refund for one or more previous tax years and you have not filed an IRS or state income tax return, you will most likely not be subject to late filing and certainly not for late payment penalties. However, you only have three years after the subject tax year to claim your tax refund. After the three years, you tax refund will unfortunately expire, and you can no longer claim your hard-earned money back from the IRS. For example, after April 15, 2023, you will no longer be able to claim your 2019 IRS tax refund. Most states follow these or similar tax refund expiration rules and dates.