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What's the IRS penalty if I miss the April 18 filing deadline?

SOLVEDby TurboTax9882Updated 2 weeks ago

Because the IRS applies late penalties and interest on a case-by-case basis, we can't calculate the exact amount if your return is late. But here's generally what you can expect.

  • No penalty if you're getting a tax refund
    • However, you must file your 2022 taxes by April 15, 2026 (or October 15, 2026 if you filed an extension). After that, any unclaimed tax refund gets turned over to the U.S. Treasury
  • No penalty if you file an extension, pay your tax bill by April 18, and file your taxes by October 16
  • Late filing penalties apply if you owe taxes and don't file your return or extension by April 18, or if you filed an extension but failed to file your return by October 16
    • 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 2023) or 100% of your unpaid tax, whichever is less
  • Late payment penalties apply if you didn't pay taxes owed by April 18, regardless of whether you filed an extension or not
    • The late payment penalty is 0.5% 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 6% and is subject to change

Example

Let's say you didn't file your return by the April 18 deadline and you owe the IRS $1,000.

  • Scenario 1: You file an extension on or before April 18 and pay your $1,000 bill on April 28 (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 April 28 (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

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