The Tax Man Cometh — Everything You Need to Know About Tax Day on May 17

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Blog - 17 - 05 - 21

May 17, 2021

The IRS extended the federal tax deadline for individuals from April 15 to May 17th. 

So what does that mean? Pete Dunn, a.k.a. Pete the Planner of Carmel, Indiana, breaks it down.

What time are taxes due?

Anytime on May 17. Your envelope has to be postmarked before midnight. Check your local post offices for extended hours. If you’re e-filing then no need for that post office run. 

What else is due today? 

Contributions to retirement, health savings and education accounts for 2020. The IRS has more information here.   

What if I miss the deadline (again)? 

You’re going to get penalized if you owe money. The IRS will charge 5% of your unpaid tax bill for every month you don’t file, and an additional 5% for each month you don’t pay. The maximum penalty is 25%.  But interest also builds daily.  

There are no fees for filing late if you’re expecting a refund, it just means your refund check will take longer.     

What if I’m self-employed? 

The filing and payment deadline is the same. But, your quarterly estimated taxes from January through March 2021 did not get an extension. So if you haven’t paid yet, you’re subject to penalties.

Is another extension possible? 

Yes but that deadline is also today. If you can’t make today’s deadline and you think you might owe money, Dunn says file an extension online for free. You’ll dodge some penalties but will still have to pay late fees. An extension will, however, give you until October 15th to file. 

If you need more time for only state taxes, you can file for more time here.  Keep in mind that some states automatically exempt you if your federal exemption is approved.  

As for refund checks, Dunn says the IRS is experiencing delays which means refunds could take three weeks or longer. E-filing tends to be faster but either way, you can check the status here.  Dunn says just be sure to know the exact refund amount so you can track it.      


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