What's the IRS penalty if I miss the October 15 ex...

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What's the IRS penalty if I miss the October 15 extension filing deadline?

The IRS applies late penalties and interest on a case-by-case basis and will send a separate bill if penalties apply.

Because the IRS has the last word on penalties, we can't calculate the exact amount if your return is late. But the info below will give you an idea of what to expect in a worst-case scenario (courtesy of IRS Tax Topic 653).

There are two types of fees that may apply, plus interest:  

  • Late filing penalties apply if you owe taxes and didn't file your return or extension by July 15, 2020, or if you filed an extension but failed to file your return by October 15, 2020.
    • The late filing penalty is 5% of the additional taxes owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) your return is late, up to a maximum of 25%.
    • If you file more than 60 days after the due date, the minimum penalty is $435 (for tax returns required to be filed in 2020) or 100% of your unpaid tax, whichever is less.
  • Late payment penalties apply if you didn't pay taxes owed by July 15, 2020, regardless of whether you filed an extension or not.
    • The late payment penalty is 0.5% (1/2 of 1%) of the additional tax owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) the owed tax remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 25%.
    • For any month(s) in which both the late-payment and late-filing penalties apply, the 0.5% late-payment penalty is waived.
  • Interest (compounded daily) starts accumulating on unpaid taxes one day after the due date of the return, until the bill is fully paid off. The current interest rate is 3% and is subject to change.

You won't face a penalty if:

  • You file by October 15, 2020 provided you filed an extension and paid your tax bill by July 15, 2020, or
  • You're getting a tax refund.
    • However, you must file your 2019 taxes by April 15, 2023 (or October 15, 2023 if you filed an extension). After that, any unclaimed tax refunds get turned over to the U.S. Treasury.

Example: Let's say you didn't file your return by the July 15 deadline and you owe the IRS an additional $1,000.

Scenario 1: You file an extension on or before July 15 and pay your $1,000 bill on July 25 (10 days late). Your penalty would be $5 (the 0.5% late-payment penalty applied to $1,000), plus another dollar or so for the interest.

Scenario 2: You didn't file an extension, and you file your return on July 25 (10 days late) along with your $1,000 payment. Your penalty would be $50 (the 5% late-filing penalty applied to $1,000), plus another dollar or so for the interest.

What if I submitted my return before October 15 but it was rejected?

You have through October 20, 2020 to fix and resubmit your return to the IRS without being subject to late filing fees. 

What if I miss the October 20th deadline to resubmit my 2019 rejected return?

You can still resubmit your rejected return through October 31, 2020 9PM PT, but your return could be subject to late filing or payment penalties

What if I miss the October 31st e-file deadline to resubmit my return?

No worries, you can print and mail your return, but late penalties may apply. Unfinished 2019 TurboTax Online returns can be transferred to the TurboTax CD/download software for paper-filing.

State extensions related to natural disasters and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Select your state to learn your local extension rules for your 2019 tax return.

ALDOR will grant filing extensions to taxpayers directly affected by Hurricane Sally. Alabama taxpayers residing in areas designated as disaster areas by the federal government have until January 15, 2021 to file tax returns due on or after September 15, 2020, and before January 15, 2021. Penalty relief will be provided during the extension period. Taxpayers seeking this Alabama tax relief should write “Sally Relief – 2020” in red ink on any state paper return which relies on this filing extension relief. Go here for more info.

The Franchise Tax Board is granting an extension to California taxpayers affected by wildfires. Taxpayers in governor-declared or presidentially declared disaster areas have until December 15, 2020 to file their 2019 California tax returns.

Hawaii returns are granted an automatic 6-month extension to file through October 20, 2020. You don't have to file a form to request an extension. The extension of time to file isn't an extension of time for payment of tax.

Illinois returns are granted an automatic 6-month extension to file through to October 15, 2020. If you receive a federal extension of more than this, you're allowed that same extension for your state return. Go here for more info.

Victims of the August 10 derecho in Iowa may qualify for tax relief from the IRS. This includes individuals and businesses that already filed an extension to file their taxes by October 15, 2020. This is an extension to file, not an extension to pay tax due. Go here for more info.

Taxpayers affected by Hurricane Laura and the Oregon Wildfires have until December 31, 2020 to file Kentucky tax returns and submit tax payments for certain returns. Visit the Kentucky Department of Revenue (DOR) website for more details.

Taxpayers affected by Hurricane Laura have until December 31, 2020 to file individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. Those not affected by the hurricane still have until November 15, 2020 to file their state taxes. Go here for more info.

If you live in a federally declared disaster area, you may be able to receive a filing extension for your Montana return. Visit the Montana Department of Revenue website for more info.

It's the New Jersey Division of Taxation’s general policy to follow the guidelines provided by the IRS for special tax relief for taxpayers in the Presidential Disaster Relief Areas. Go here for more info.

Victims of Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds that began September 7, 2020 have until January 15, 2020 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. Individuals and households who reside or have a business affected counties qualify for tax relief. Go here for more info.

The SCDOR and IRS are offering tax relief for victims of the April 2020 tornados, severe storms, and flooding in certain counties. Affected individuals and businesses will have until October 15, 2020 to file and pay certain taxes that were originally due from April 12, 2020 to October 15, 2020. Go here for more info.

Virginia individual returns are granted an automatic 6-month extension to file through November 1, 2020. Go here for more info.

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