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Filing your taxes

Tax Deadlines and Penalties

Updated on April 8, 2020

Curious about when you need to file your taxes by, what the penalties are for filing and paying late, and whether you might need to file an extension?

When is the last day I can file my taxes?

Tax season, which begins when the IRS opens and starts accepting returns for processing, ends on July 15, 2020.

However, you can file an extension and that will give you another three months, until the extension deadline of October 15, 2020, to file. You still need to pay your taxes by July 15 but the forms will not be due until October 15.

Do I need to file a tax extension?

If you will be unable to complete your tax return by the end of tax season on July 15, 2020, yes, you need to file an extension.

How do I file a tax extension?

If you are doing your taxes yourself, you can visit IRS.gov and fill out Form 4868 to file a tax extension. However, your tax pro can also help.


File your taxes early if you owe, so you know how much to get together by July 15.

Will I be penalized if I file late?

If you file your tax return after July 15 - October 15 if you filed an extension, you will not be penalized. The late filing penalty is 5% of the unpaid taxes with a minimum penalty of $330, or 100% of the unpaid taxes if less, if the return is filed later than July 15. The penalty increases 5% a month until the taxes are paid or the penalty reaches 25% of the unpaid taxes. The penalty for filing late is higher than the penalty for paying late.

Is the penalty for paying late the same as the penalty for filing late?

The penalties for paying late and filing late are two separate penalties and the combined penalty maxes out at 25%. The late payment penalty is 0.5% of the unpaid taxes per month up to a total of 25% of the unpaid taxes. However, if both the late filing and late payment penalty apply in a month, the maximum penalty added for that month is 5%. 

What other penalties are assessed on taxpayers?

Taxpayers can be assessed many penalties in addition to the late filing and late payment penalties. There is the underpayment penalty which applies if you owe more than $1,000 and you have a wage income or you owe when you are self-employed. The underpayment penalty is assessed because the tax code says you must prepay your taxes through withholding or estimated payments.

Why Jackson Hewitt®?

We’ll work hard for you

Our Tax Pros will answer your questions, provide tax tips, and help you get smarter about your money.

We know our stuff

Jackson Hewitt is a leader in the tax industry, having prepared millions of tax returns in more than 35 years.

We’ll make it easy

We’re committed to helping you, fast and efficiently. Taxes done how you want and when you want.