- Being late with a tax return could have negative consequences.
- It's important to be mindful of the tax-filing deadline, but also to start working on your return well ahead of it.
- In 2023, the tax-filing deadline is April 18.
The answer might surprise you.
Filing a tax return is something many people just plain don't look forward to, and understandably so. After all, in some cases, filing taxes could mean having to gather loads of paperwork, from mortgage interest statements to medical bills to business expenses. That can be a time-consuming and stressful endeavor.
That's why it's important to give yourself plenty of time to get your tax return done ahead of this year's deadline. And it's also important that you know what this year's deadline looks like.
Taxes are due on April 18
Normally, April 15 is when taxes are due. But when April 15 falls over a weekend, the filing deadline is generally pushed to the next business day.
Now in this case, the next business day after Saturday, April 15 is Monday, April 17. But April 17 is Emancipation Day, which is a recognized holiday in Washington, D.C. As such, the tax-filing deadline has been moved back an extra day, giving filers until April 18 to get their returns over to the IRS and pay any outstanding taxes they owe from 2022.
Don't wait until the last minute
It's important to mark your calendar with this year's tax-filing deadline so you don't miss it. But to be clear, it's best to get started on your tax return well before April.
First of all, if you're forced to rush through your taxes, you could end up making a mistake. That could result in consequences ranging from a tax audit to a lower refund than what you're actually entitled to. And at a time when inflation is eating up so much of people's paychecks, the last thing you want to do is short yourself on a refund.
In fact, the IRS typically starts accepting tax returns in late January, so the sooner you get your taxes done, the sooner you can anticipate your refund hitting your bank account. And that way, you'll also check off a large task rather than have it hang over your head, all the while causing you stress.
You can get more time if you need
If you don't owe the IRS any money from 2022 and you're late filing your tax return, there's no financial penalty. But the penalties can be steep for people who owe money on their taxes and miss the filing deadline.
If you don't think you'll be able to complete your tax return by April 18 this year, the IRS will give you more time if you ask for it -- six months' worth, in fact. But make sure to request an extension by April 18 to snag that extra time and avoid penalties for being late. The good news is that you don't need to rack your brain for a creative excuse along the lines of "my dog ate my W-2." You just need to submit the right form in time.
To be clear, if you owe the IRS money from 2022, you'll still need to pay your tax bill by April 18 to avoid interest and penalties on that sum. But at least you'll avoid the penalties that come with failing to file a tax return in time, which can be far more steep and burdensome.
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