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Important IRS Tax Dates to Know for 2020

Federal income tax return deadline extended without penalty to July 15

senior working woman holding calculator with tax day words and report data on wood desk

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Editor’s note: The Treasury Department says that taxpayers will have an additional 90 days to pay their federal income taxes. Because of the coronavirus, anyone who owes $1 million or less in federal taxes is eligible for the penalty-free late payment. In addition, taxpayers will have until July 15 to file their federal taxes.

En español | Because of the coronavirus, Tax Day is on July 15 instead of April 15. You'll need to have your return postmarked by midnight on July 15. If you file electronically, the date and time in your time zone when your return is transmitted controls whether your return is filed on time. After you file, you will get an electronic acknowledgement that the IRS has accepted your electronically filed return.

July 15 isn't the only tax day to mark on your 2020 calendar. January 27 is the first day the IRS will start accepting and processing federal income tax forms for the 2019 tax year. If you're expecting a refund, you'll get your money fastest by filing electronically and getting your refund via direct deposit to your bank, rather than waiting for a check in the mail.

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If you're a procrastinator, circle October 15, which is when you must file your final tax return after filing for an extension. You'll need Form 4868 to do so, and you can also file electronically for an automatic extension. Doing so will let you avoid the penalty for failing to file, which is 4.5 percent of the amount you owe each month.

Even if you do file for an extension, you still have to estimate and pay your taxes due by July 15. (You don’t need to file for an extension if you file and pay before July 15.) You'll need to pay at least 90 percent of what you end up owing to avoid late payment penalties, which are 0.5 percent of what you owe per month. Combined, the two penalties cannot exceed 25 percent of what you owe.

Finally, if you're self-employed, you can pay your first-quarter estimated taxes due April 15 and June 15 on July 15.

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