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Jackson Hewitt® Reminds Taxpayers to File Before the May 17 Deadline

When do taxpayers need to file an extension and what happens if they miss the federal tax deadline?

JERSEY CITY, N.J., May 10, 2021 – The deadline to file 2020 federal tax returns is next week – except for Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana residents who have until June 15, 2021 to file due to the recent winter storms. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® reminds all other taxpayers who have yet to file their tax return to do so by May 17, 2021. Taxpayers who need more time to file can file an extension to avoid any late-filing IRS penalties or interest that could result from missing the tax deadline.

“Jackson Hewitt Tax Pros are prepared to help their clients navigate filing their 2020 tax returns before the tax deadline,” said Mark Steber, Chief Tax Information Officer at Jackson Hewitt. “If a taxpayer knows they cannot meet the deadline, we encourage them to contact their Tax Pro and file an extension before May 17.”

If taxpayers need additional time, they should file IRS Form 4868 to extend their tax return filing until October 15, 2021. However, payment is due May 17, 2021, even with an extension and many states have their own forms and extension rules.

“Be aware that an extension does not delay the payment due date if you owe money,” said Steber. “If taxpayers don’t pay their taxes by the 2020 tax deadline, May 17, they can get hit with penalties and interest – even if they enter into an Installment Agreement with the IRS.”

There are some people, however, who won’t need to fill out Form 4868 as they will automatically get an extension under the law:

  • US citizens who lived and worked outside of the country on the deadline have until June 15 to file their tax return – caution – they still must pay their taxes by May 17
  • If taxpayers were in a federally declared disaster area this year, they may get more time to file and pay their taxes as well
  • Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana residents have until June 15 to file their taxes due to the federally declared disaster)
  • And finally, members of the military who are in a combat zone for any time during the filing season 

Taxpayers don’t want to miss the tax deadline and risk IRS penalties, specifically the two common penalties that taxpayers might face if they miss the tax filing and tax payment deadline: failure-to-file on time and failure-to-pay on time.

Failure-to-file penalty: This is a penalty for not filing a return or filing an extension. It is generally 5% of the unpaid tax amount each month, and it caps out at 25%. Late filers are assessed the failure-to-file penalty for each month they did not file. Generally, a federal return that is due a refund does not get this penalty; however, some states do penalize late refund returns. If a taxpayer files late, it’s best they get some professional tax help to manage the issues – for both federal and state.

Failure-to-pay penalty: This penalty applies if at least 90% of a taxpayer’s expected taxes due are not paid by the due date of May 17. This penalty is much less costly; it starts at 0.5% or 1/ 2 a percent of unpaid taxes each month, and it also caps out at 25%. So less costly on a monthly basis but does it add up fast over time.

The failure-to-file and failure-to-pay penalties are combined each month a taxpayer is assessed both penalties. The combined penalties are not usually allowed to be greater than 25% of the taxes owed.

Interest is compounded daily, meaning the numbers grow fast – and the taxpayer could owe the IRS a lot of money in interest. States also have their own rules, interest, and penalties, although similar to federal– as long as the state has income tax, which 43 of them do.

To support taxpayers who have yet to file, Jackson Hewitt offers a variety of ways to file:

  • File in Store – Taxpayers can book an appointment at locations across the country, including in Walmart stores, which are open with flexible hours.
  • Tax Document Drop-Off– Clients can drop off documents at an office or curbside (where available) and then come back as soon as the next day (depending on the office) to review and complete their return. 
  • Jackson Hewitt Tax Pro From Home– Clients can upload documents remotely, talk with a Tax Pro, and complete filing from anywhere, including from the comfort of home.
  • Jackson Hewitt Online – Clients can upload documents electronically, get step-by-step guidance to help them select the right answers, and access customer care support online.

For more information and to find the nearest Jackson Hewitt office visit


About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. is an innovator in the tax industry, with a mission to provide its hard-working clients access to simple, low-cost solutions to manage their taxes and tax refunds. Jackson Hewitt is devoted to helping clients get ahead and stands behind its work with its Maximum Refund Guarantee and Lifetime Accuracy Guarantee® (restrictions apply, see Jackson Hewitt’s website for more details). Clients can choose to file at one of Jackson Hewitt's nearly 6,000 franchised and company-owned locations, including 3,000 in Walmart stores and online, making it easy and convenient for clients to file their taxes. For more information about products, services, and offers, or to locate a Jackson Hewitt office, visit or call 1 (800) 234-1040.

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