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Procrastinators celebrate: Extended tax filing deadline extended longer than usual

3 min read

3 min read

October 14, 2016

Taxpayers who filed an extension instead of a tax return in April have less than one week left to file their 2015 tax returns by the October deadline, which moves to the 17th because the 15th falls on a weekend. Taxpayers with a tax filing obligation who miss the October 17 deadline could face failure-to-file penalties.

Penalties for not filing a tax return 10 times more severe than not paying tax bill

The penalty for not paying tax liability in full is 0.5 percent of the unpaid balance per month with a maximum of 25 percent. The monthly penalty for not filing a tax return is 10 times that amount and capped at a maximum of 25 percent. For example, the failure to pay penalty starts at just $5 per month for someone who owes $1,000. But the failure to file a return starts at $50 per month. If not filed within 60 days of the deadline, the minimum penalty jumps to the lesser of $205 or 100 percent of the unpaid balance.

“Taxpayers who couldn’t meet the April tax deadline and filed for an extension did the right thing. That extension saved them the more costly penalty, but only until October 17,” said Kathy Pickering, vice president and executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block. “Now they must file their returns to avoid this penalty and other potential consequences.”

Is the glass half full or half empty? Two extra days to file or one fewer day?

Because the usual October 15 extended filing deadline falls on a Saturday this year, the deadline moves to the next business day, October 17. While this may seem like a two-day bonus for taxpayers who filed extensions, the April deadline was three days later than normal, making the extension timeframe for taxpayers one day shorter than a normal year.

“If it feels like the extended tax deadline is approaching faster than usual, that’s because – in a way – it is,” said Pickering. “Deadlines can sneak up on taxpayers, so even though it falls later this year than what is typical, taxpayers shouldn’t wait to complete and file their tax return.”

Assistance and resources for taxpayers

Taxpayers who need help filing a tax return should call 1-800-HRBLOCK or find a local H&R Block office.


About H&R Block

H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2016, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3 billion with 23.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/newsroom.