That deadline applies unless or until you file for an extension, but you can only qualify to do so if you complete IRS form 4868 by the end of the day on April 17. All such applications are approved automatically and give you a new deadline of October 15.
You can apply for a second extension by submitting the same form again, which moves your final deadline to December 15, after which point you can’t get another extension.
A Minute Before Midnight
For both tax returns and applications for extensions, the exact deadline is 11:59 pm on the day in question. But don’t leave your filing until the very last minute, because logistical snafus could make you late — whether you file via snail mail or electronically.
As for the latter, with over 90% of taxpayers filing electronically — according to the IRS — the agency’s e-filing website may experience a surge in traffic that could slow down the site’s processing speeds.
On the snail mail front, although post offices usually have extended hours on tax deadline day, there could be extra traffic getting into and out of these facilities.
You Still Owe Money on April 17
Now here’s something else to keep in mind: Even if you file for an extension, your tax payment is still due on the deadline day.
This makes extensions tricky, since you won’t know how much you owe or are owed as a refund until you file that return.
However, if you wait to pay until October 15 or December 15, the agency may charge you six or nine months’ worth of interest, respectively, plus possible penalties.
The Last Day You Can File Taxes in 2018
You can avoid the expense if you just file your return on time, by April 17, and include a payment for as much as you can afford — even if it’s only a penny. Then request a payment plan from among the choices described on the IRS website.
From there, you can always file an amendment to your return by October 15 if you still have outstanding concerns. However, if you normally work with an accountant on your returns, any amendments will cost you extra.
Readers, have you filed your taxes yet — and if so, did you get a refund?
Read More About Taxes
If you liked this article, you might enjoy our rich archive of articles about taxes:
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