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


Sarah Tew/CNET

Now that tax season has formally began, you’ll want to collect your paperwork and file your tax return. However, if you want extra time to put together, you can file for an extension with the IRS, which might make your new due date for submitting taxes Oct. 15, as a substitute of the April 15 deadline. But because the solely manner to get any 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 may occur if a third stimulus examine arrives earlier than you file your 2020 taxes?

If you resolve to lengthen 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. Those will nonetheless be due by April 15, in any other case you accrue curiosity, which you’ll ultimately have to pay on prime of your earnings taxes.

Here’s what happens with your missing stimulus money if you request a tax extension this 12 months. Once you do file, this is how to monitor your mixed refund and stimulus fee. And this is what to learn about a $1,400 stimulus examine, and the way to calculate the entire you may get. This story was not too long ago up to date.

Will I nonetheless give you the option to declare the stimulus money I’m missing if I file a tax extension?

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


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When will I obtain my tax refund?

The timeline for getting your tax refund — or your refund plus excellent stimulus examine money —  will depend on 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 filed by Feb. 12 — that is when the IRS began processing tax returns — you may 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 anticipate your tax refund, which is able to embrace your missing stimulus fee.

When to anticipate 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 may a third stimulus examine work if it arrives throughout tax season?

That’s a good query and one we’ll want the IRS to definitively reply when and if Congress approves a third stimulus examine

The newest proposal (PDF) would use whichever taxes the IRS has on file on the time it is prepared to put together your fee. You would want to declare any variations a 12 months from now, when submitting for your 2021 taxes in 2022.

We have to see how the IRS will deal with this case for individuals who file for extensions.

You have 3 choices to file a tax extension in 2021

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 certain 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 device to discover one of the 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 give you the option to use the Free File Fillable kind when it opens Feb. 12.

Once you enter all your info, the IRS will assist decide which possibility is finest for you — for instance, it could possibly 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 certain 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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