LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Tax procrastinators beware — Monday is the deadline to file your taxes.
The Internal Revenue Service began accepting 2021 tax returns in January. And while Tax Day is normally April 15, Monday will mark the third year in a row that the Internal Revenue Service has extended the filing date for federal tax returns.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for filing tax returns in 2020 has been extended to July 15. The federal government again extended the tax deadline last year to May 17. This year, the deadline was pushed back due to Emancipation Day, a government holiday celebrated in the District of Columbia.
Last-minute filers will have to submit their 2021 tax returns by Monday or request an extension, which would give them an additional six months to get their tax return in order.
However, an extension of the filing deadline is not an extension of the payment deadline, and taxpayers should estimate their tax payable and pay any amounts owing by the filing deadline to avoid penalties and interest. If you owe a refund, there is no penalty for late filing of federal taxes.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to file their returns electronically because the tax software performs the calculations, flags common errors, and reduces tax filing errors by prompting taxpayers to provide missing information. Even though your local post office may offer extended hours on Tax Day, the fastest way to receive a refund is to file electronically and use direct deposit, according to the IRS.
IRS Free File is available to any individual or family with an adjusted gross income of $73,000 or less in 2021. Most tax software providers make their products available online for free, and taxpayers can use IRS Free File to claim the remaining amount of their Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and other important credits.
The IRS estimates that 1.5 million taxpayers failed to file taxes in 2018 to claim tax refunds worth more than $1.5 billion – and the window of opportunity for three years to claim a refund this year ends Monday for most taxpayers.
If they don’t file a 2018 tax return by the deadline, the money becomes the property of the US Treasury. The law requires taxpayers to address, mail, and ensure that the 2018 tax return is postmarked by that date.
The IRS considers a timely filed tax return if it is properly addressed, with sufficient postage, and stamped by the due date.