When are taxes due? Tax deadlines for 2021

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Tax Day typically falls on April 15 every year, unless that day falls on a weekend or a holiday. In that case, Tax Day falls on the next day that isn’t a Saturday, Sunday or holiday.

Though the 2020 tax-filing deadlines shifted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, every other year has followed a standard schedule.

When is Tax Day 2021?

The deadline for filing your 2020 taxes is April 15, 2021. This is the day designated by the U.S. government as the day taxes are due each year. While Tax Day was extended to July 15 in 2020, it’s currently scheduled on the standard day in 2021.

The IRS on Jan. 15 announced that will start accepting tax filings on Feb. 12. Filing typically begins in January. For now, though, the tax-filing deadline remains April 15.

Can I file an extension?

You can file for an extension if you need more time to prepare and file your taxes. Before the April 15 deadline, you must fill out and submit Form 4868, which is the Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form. At the time you file Form 4868, you must also pay what you estimate you owe in tax to avoid penalties and interest, the IRS says. If approved, this extension will give you an extra six months to file your taxes (or four months if you’re out of the country).

To qualify for this extension, you have to file the application before April 15, 2021. You will be notified if and when the application clears.

When are taxes due if I file an extension?

If you’ve filed Form 4868 and have been approved for an extension, you will have until Oct. 15, 2021, to pay any tax, interest and penalties.

If you already know that you’ll need an extension, file the application sooner rather than later. If anything goes wrong with the application, you’ll have plenty of time to fix it and submit again, ahead of the April 15 tax deadline. This will ensure you also have time to get your forms and documents together for your extended deadline in October. The IRS website has all the forms, deadlines and information you’ll need.

When are estimated taxes due?

Those who pay estimated taxes have a slightly different schedule from others. People who pay quarterly estimated taxes include workers who are self-employed, earn money from tips, or any similar entrepreneurial or independent contractor jobs. If your paycheck doesn’t have taxes taken out before the money gets to you, then you should be paying estimated taxes quarterly.

Estimated taxes are due quarterly with Form 1040-ES, and there are two sets of dates. If you’re self-employed or a farmer or fisherman:

  • First quarter payments are due April 15
  • Second quarter payments are due June 15
  • Third quarter payments are due Sept. 15
  • Fourth quarter payments are due Jan. 15

If you’re an employee who earns tips, you’ll be paying monthly instead of quarterly:

  • Jan. 11
  • Feb. 10
  • March 10
  • April 12
  • May 10
  • June 10
  • July 12
  • Aug. 10
  • Sept. 10
  • Oct. 12
  • Nov. 10
  • Dec. 10

This is the standard schedule to follow, provided nothing interferes (such as a pandemic). As long as these deadlines aren’t changed, your next estimated taxes payment will be due Jan. 15, 2021, if you’re currently earning self-employment income or Jan. 11 if you earn tips.

If you don’t pay estimated taxes by the deadline, you risk being charged a penalty. The caveat is that if you don’t pay the estimated tax by Jan. 15 but file your 2020 income tax early, you won’t be charged. If you’re self-employed, that date is Jan. 31; for farmers and fishermen, it’s March 1.