The 2023 tax season is officially coming close to its conclusion. The IRS has set the tax deadline for this year as April 18th. That leaves taxpayers with less than a week left to file their taxes. If you’ve waited until now, it’s a good time to file as soon as possible to avoid any penalties or interest that may build up. In this article, we will look at an overview of what the tax deadline means and why it’s important to file before it.
What is the tax deadline?
As mentioned before, the deadline for taxpayers to file their taxes this year is April 18. The tax deadline also referred to as Tax Day, is the last day the IRS gives taxpayers to do this. This doesn’t mean that taxpayers have to wait until the deadline to file their taxes. The IRS and most tax professionals recommend that you file your taxes as soon as you’re able to.
Why is there a deadline?
Now that we know what the tax deadline is, it’s good to know why there’s a deadline in the first place. The main reason there is a deadline is not only to force taxpayers to pay them promptly but mainly for the sake of giving the IRS time to process them. By setting a deadline, the IRS has a set date that they’ll have received the majority of tax returns for that specific tax year. This allows for smoother processing of the returns and any later ones that might come in.
Why is the deadline April 18?
You may have looked at the date for the tax deadline this year and wondered why it doesn’t fall on April 15 like it usually does. The reasoning for this is that April 16 is Emancipation Day, which is a holiday recognized by Washington D.C. April 17th is also Patriots' Day, a holiday celebrated in Maine and Massachusetts. These holidays also fall on a weekend, and as such, the deadline was moved to April 18. Due to a combination of this year's holidays falling on the weekend and having the same date each year, the celebration has been postponed by 3 days.
This is likely not bad news to you, as you now have more time to prepare for the end of the season. It is again important to remember, however, that we are closely approaching this deadline and that you should file ASAP.
What happens if you don’t pay by the deadline?
If you fail to pay by the deadline, you will likely have a penalty placed on the return in the form of a fine. This fine will be 5 percent of the unpaid tax each month for up to a total of 25 percent. Depending on how much the taxpayer owes, this can add up to be quite a hefty sum. As such, it cannot be stressed enough that you file before the deadline.
There are of course exceptions to this, which mainly come in the form of filing for an extension. Taxpayers who need more time to file can do so by filling out this form by the deadline. By doing so, the deadline is changed from April 18 until October 15. If you can't file your taxes by April 18, it is recommended to file for an extension. This will give you an additional 6 months to file and will help you avoid late penalties.
What if you can’t pay your taxes?
There are some cases in which you will know how much you’ll owe for your taxes. Even if you know this amount, you should still do your best to file before the deadline. By doing so, you will avoid any additional penalties that may come as a result of waiting.