Tax Tip 2020-88: What someone should do if they missed the July 15 deadline to file and pay.
While the federal income tax-filing deadline has passed for most people, some taxpayers haven’t filed their 2019 tax returns yet.
If a taxpayer is entitled to a refund, there’s no penalty for filing late. Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid tax due as of July 16, 2020.
Anyone who didn’t file and owes tax should file a return as soon as they can and pay as much as possible to reduce penalties and interest. Electronic filing options, including IRS Free File, are still available on IRS.gov through Oct. 15, 2020 to prepare and file returns electronically.
Filing soon is very important because the late-filing penalty and late-payment penalty on unpaid taxes adds up quickly. However, in some cases, a taxpayer filing after the deadline may qualify for penalty relief. For those charged a penalty, they may contact the IRS by calling the number on their notice and explain why they couldn’t file and pay on time.
Additionally, taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on time often qualify for administrative penalty relief. A taxpayer will usually qualify if they have filed and paid timely for the past three years and meet other requirements. For more information, see the first-time penalty abatement page on IRS.gov.
State filing and payment deadlines may be different from the federal July 15 deadline. A list of state tax division websites is available through the Federation of Tax Administrators.
The IRS is processing tax returns, issuing refunds and accepting payments. Taxpayers who mail or who have already mailed a tax return will experience a longer wait. There is no need to file a second tax return or call the IRS.