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You can file an extension on your taxes by April 15.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Think you’ll want extra time to put together and file your taxes this 12 months? No worries. You can file an extension with the IRS, which might make your new due date for submitting taxes Oct. 15, as an alternative of the April 15 deadline. But realizing that the one approach to get your missing stimulus money is by claiming it on your tax return, what happens if you file a tax extension if you’re additionally anticipating a catch-up fee? And what might occur if a third stimulus examine arrives earlier than you file your 2020 taxes?

If you’re planning to prolong your tax submitting to a later date, you’ll want to file the extension no later than April 15, 2021. Also be aware that submitting a tax extension will not cease you from having to pay any taxes you might owe — you’ll nonetheless be required to pay these by April 15, in any other case you’ll accrue curiosity you’ll ultimately have to pay on high of your earnings taxes. 

Here’s what happens to your missing stimulus money if you file a tax extension this 12 months. Once you do file, here is how to monitor your mixed refund and stimulus fee. And here is what to find out about a $1,400 stimulus examine. This story was just lately up to date.

Can I nonetheless get my missing stimulus money if I file a tax extension?

Yes. But you ought to know the one approach you’ll get your missing stimulus money is by submitting a Recovery Rebate Credit on your taxes — even if you’re not normally required to file taxes. So the longer you wait to file, the longer it’s going to take to get your tax refund, which can embody your missing stimulus fee.


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When can I count on to obtain my missing fee?

It depends upon when you file. While you have till Oct. 15 to submit your return if you’ve filed an extension, it doesn’t suggest you have to wait that lengthy to file. 

For instance, if you have been to file by Feb. 12 — that is when the IRS will start processing tax returns — you might obtain your money as quickly as Feb. 19. However, if you wait till Oct. 15, the earliest you would get the money is Oct. 22. 

See our chart under for extra particulars on when you can count on your tax refund, which can embody your missing stimulus fee.

When to count on your tax refund

If you file on this date This is the soonest This is the most recent
Feb. 12 Feb. 19 March 5
March 1 March 8 March 22
April 1 April 8 April 22
April 15 (final day to file) April 22 May 6
Oct. 15 (final day with extension) Oct. 22 Nov. 5

How would a third stimulus fee slot in if it arrives throughout tax season?

That’s a good query and one we’ll want the IRS to reply when and if Congress approves a third stimulus examine. It’s attainable the IRS would leverage tax season to ship out checks, or the company may ship a standalone fee. The first stimulus checks have been calculated based mostly on how a lot stimulus money you have been owed utilizing info in the newest tax submitting, whereas the second examine used 2019 taxes solely to decide your share. We have to see how the IRS will deal with this example for individuals who file for extensions.


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How to file a tax extension in 2021: There are three choices

There are 3 ways the IRS says you can file a tax extension:

Option 1: Pay all or a part of your estimated earnings tax due and be aware the fee is for an extension utilizing Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or utilizing a credit score or debit card. 

Option 2: File Form 4868 electronically by accessing IRS e-file utilizing your tax software program or by working with a tax skilled who makes use of e-file. Make positive you have a copy of your 2019 tax return.

If you want to discover a tax software program service to use, and you make $72,000 or much less, you can use the IRS Free File Online instrument to discover the very best free submitting system. You’ll want to collect the next info: earnings statements (W2s or 1099s), any changes to your earnings, your present submitting standing (single, married, submitting collectively) and dependent info. If you make greater than $72,000, you’ll have the opportunity to use the Free File Fillable kind when it opens Feb. 12.

Once you enter all your info, the IRS will assist decide which choice is finest for you — for instance, it may very well be IRS Free File Program by TurboTax or TaxSlayer.

Option 3: File a paper Form 4868 and enclose fee of your estimate of tax due. Make positive it is postmarked on or earlier than April 15.

For extra tax info, we spell out the difference between a tax refund and a tax return, how tax season is totally different in 2021 and three causes to join direct deposit when you file your taxes.

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