IR-2021-189, September 16, 2021
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminds taxpayers about the upcoming October 15 due date to file 2020 tax returns. People who asked for an extension should file on or before the extension deadline to avoid the penalty for filing late. Electronic filing options, such as IRS Free File, are still available.
Although October 15 is the last day for most people to file, some taxpayers may have more time. They include:
There is usually no penalty for failure to file if the taxpayer is due a refund. However, people who wait too long to file and claim a refund, risk losing it altogether. Those who have yet to file a 2020 tax return, owe tax, and did not request an extension can generally avoid additional penalties and interest by filing the return as soon as possible and paying any taxes owed.
Taxpayers can file now and schedule their federal tax payments up to the October 15 due date. They can pay online, by phone or with their mobile device and the IRS2Go app. When paying federal taxes electronically taxpayers should remember:
Taxpayers can use their online account to securely see important information when preparing to file their tax return or following up on balances or notices. This includes:
Additionally, taxpayers can view the:
The safest and fastest way for people to get a refund is to file electronically and have their refund electronically deposited into their bank or other financial account. Taxpayers can use direct deposit to deposit their refund into one, two or even three accounts. They can also purchase U.S. Savings Bonds.
People who don't have a bank account can go to the FDIC website or the National Credit Union Association to use their Credit Union Locator Tool for information on where to open an online bank or credit union account. Veterans can use the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) for access to financial services at participating banks.
Millions of American families currently receive monthly advance Child Tax Credit payments either through direct deposit or paper check. These payments represent half of the increased Child Tax Credit from the American Rescue Plan and will continue through the end of the year.
For those eligible and on extension for their 2020 tax returns, the IRS is using previous year tax information, 2019 for most, to determine the credit amount. The IRS urges people who requested an extension to file as soon as possible if they experienced a major change such as the birth of a child in 2020. Once that return is processed, the IRS can calculate the credit based on the 2020 return and pay it out in full over the remaining months in 2021.
Those who file and have their 2020 return processed on or before November 1, may be eligible for two payments of half the credit in 2021. Similarly, people who file and have their return processed on or before November 29, may be eligible for one payment.
To speed the processing of returns and to avoid delays, the IRS urges everyone to file electronically.
Complete information on the advance Child Tax Credit is available on IRS.gov.
For anyone who missed out on the first two rounds of stimulus payments, it's not too late. People who didn't get a first and second Economic Impact Payment or got less than the full amounts can get that missing money if they're eligible for it, but they need to act soon.
When it comes to missing stimulus payments, it's critical that eligible people file a 2020 tax return or use the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool soon even if they don't usually file to provide information the IRS needs to send the payments. The IRS will also automatically evaluate the taxpayer's eligibility for the third economic impact payment when the 2020 return is processed.
The IRS will continue to issue eligible taxpayers their third economic impact payment and plus-up payments through the end of 2021. File a 2020 tax return electronically as soon as possible to give the IRS time to process and issue the payments before the end of 2021.