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Missed the tax deadline? 3 Reasons to take care of your late filing today

4 min read

4 min read

The Tax Day countdown has passed for this tax year, but not all taxpayers have made it across the finish line with their IRS Form 1040. If this is you, you may be panicking that you missed the tax filing deadline.

Take a deep breath and know that we’re here to help! So, what happens if you miss the tax deadline? We’ll answer that question below but know this. While it’s not the end of the world, there are a number of good reasons you’ll still want to file — and sooner rather than later.

3 Reasons to file today if you missed the April tax deadline

  1. The sooner you file, the less you’ll owe in penalties. If you owe, the failure to file penalty is typically 5% of your unpaid tax. And, the failure to pay penalty is 0.5% of your unpaid tax. Both penalties are assessed every month (or partial month) until you pay. On top of the penalties, you’ll owe interest.
  2. The sooner you do your taxes, the sooner you can set yourself up better for the next tax season. By doing your taxes, you can spot any paycheck withholding issues. For example, if you owe more than expected, it could be because you withheld too little from your pay. Updating your W-4 early in the year, means you’ll have the rest of the year for the new withholding to apply. Wait too long and you run the risk of having the same issue.
  3. You can get money back that’s owed to you. Even if you don’t make enough to have to file taxes, you may still get a tax refund. It could be that you overpaid in taxes through paycheck withholding. Or, maybe you qualify money back from a refundable credit such as the Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit. The only way to get this money back is to file a tax return. 

Learn more about how to file back tax returns and how to reduce penalties and interest if you qualify. Plus, you can always get help from a trusted IRS expert.

File with H&R Block to get your max refund

Missed tax deadline FAQs

What happens if I miss the tax deadline?

Not getting your taxes done on time if you owe means you’re subject to two types of penalties from the Internal Revenue Service: The first is the failure to pay penalty and the second is the failure to file penalty (some may think of this as a late filing fee).

If you happened to file for a tax extension by the original tax deadline, you’ll only have to worry about the failure to pay penalty if you owe.

Can I file an extension on my taxes after the deadline? Can I submit Form 4868 after April 15?

The deadline to file an extension is the same as the deadline to file taxes. Unfortunately, if you’ve missed the date to file your tax return, you’ve also passed the deadline to file an extension. If the filing deadline has passed, you should file your return as soon as possible to avoid penalties.

Note: U.S. citizens and residents who live outside the U.S. on April 15 have an automatic due date extension to June 15 to file their returns. These taxpayers have until June 15 to file Form 4868 and receive an extension to October 15.

Can I still file my taxes for 2023 after the deadline?

Yes! You can still file your taxes for 2023, but you may not be able to avoid penalties. If you’re getting a tax refund, you won’t have to worry about being charged any penalties or interest. If you owe taxes, the two penalties mentioned above may apply.

While a late filing penalty can be unsettling, the sooner you file the better.

What if I can’t pay?

You can request to pay your taxes in installments with an IRS payment plan. While it’s best to pay your taxes on time, setting up an installment agreement (payment plan) can help reduce further penalties.

What happens if I miss the tax deadline for my child’s return?

If you need to report your child’s unearned income, the information should be reported on Form 8615 the same time as the tax deadline for your personal return. But if you’ve missed the tax filing deadline to minimize potential penalties. Learn more about children’s unearned income.

Rely on H&R Block for help finishing your taxes

While taxes can be stressful, you don’t have to go it alone. Trust the expertise of H&R Block to help you file your taxes. Make an appointment to file with a tax pro or with H&R Block Online.

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