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Filing your taxes

Is filing a tax extension the right move for you?

Mark Steber

Chief Tax Information Officer

Published on: April 08, 2022

An extension gives you more time to file your taxes, but they’re not for everyone. Make sure you know what an extension does—and does not—do for you.

When is the federal filing deadline this year? 

This year, Tuesday April 18, 2023 is the federal filing deadline for most of the nation. That’s because April 15, 2023, which is the usual tax deadline, falls on a Sunday, so the IRS pushed the deadline to the next business day which is a Emancipation Day in Washington D.C. and the Federal Government is closed Monday April 17, 2023. If you live in Massachusetts or Maine, the filing deadline is Tuesday, April 18, 2023, since Patriots’ Day is also April 17, 2023. The deadlines can be different if you are in a federally designated disaster area. Check with or your local Tax Pro for more information.

Federal tax deadlines

For most states

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Massachusetts and Maine

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Designated disaster areas

Check or talk to your Tax Pro

State tax return deadlines vary


Does an extension give me more time to pay my taxes?

No. If you owe, you must pay by the filing deadline (or arrange a payment plan with the IRS). If you haven't paid your estimated balance due by April 18, 2023, the IRS could charge you interest and penalties. Nobody wants to pay more than they should.


Will an extension help if I don't have the money to pay my taxes?

No, an extension doesn’t put off your tax bill. However, if you can’t pay your taxes in full, you may qualify for an IRS Installment Agreement payment plan. These plans allow for up to 72 months to pay any balance you owe. Ask your Tax Pro about applying for an Installment Agreement plan.


Can I get an extension for my state return?

Yes. Residents in 41 states, plus the District of Columbia, must file state tax returns and those states all allow extensions. Individual states have their own rules for whether the extension is automatic or if you must request one. Also, your state’s deadline may not be the same as the federal filing deadline. Ask your local Tax Pro or check with your state tax agencies for those details.


What if I’m out of the country?

You may not need an extension to file your return after the federal tax deadline if you’re out of the country. You automatically have two extra months (generally until June 15) to file and pay any tax due if:

  1. You’re living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of business or post of duty is outside of the United States and Puerto Rico.
  2. You’re in military or naval service on duty outside of the United States and Puerto Rico.


What would it cost me to pay my taxes late?

On top of the taxes you owe, the IRS will add two additional fees every month: a 5% late filing fee plus a 0.5% late payment penalty.

The IRS will continue to add penalties until you pay in full, and it adds up fast. Can’t pay right away? Consider an IRS Installment Agreement. You can set one up through your account.

Does an extension make sense for me?



Gives you more time to complete and file your tax return with the IRS

It may require as much paperwork to file an extension as to file your complete and final return

No penalties or interest for late filing

You still need to pay your estimated taxes

Less stress to file on time

Delays your refund


You may need to pay an extension fee on top of your tax prep fee


You might have to request a state extension, too


What’s the absolute latest extension date?

For 2022 tax returns, the final extension date is October 16, 2023.


How do I request an extension?

It’s smart to talk with a Tax Pro to understand the pros and cons of an extension before you file for one. If it makes sense for you, your Tax Pro can help you file yours. If you file with Jackson Hewitt Online, you can make your request from your account.


How to file an extension with your Tax Pro.

Reach out to your Tax Pro with the tax information you have. Your Tax Pro will help you to determine if you can file on time or if you need to file an extension. 

Book your appointment.

We have more than 5,600 locations with convenient hours.

Plan your return visit.

Even if you file an extension, you still need to file your return. Book your appointment before your 6-month extension expires. In 2023, the final deadline is October 16.

About the Author

Mark Steber is Senior Vice President and Chief Tax Information Officer for Jackson Hewitt. With over 30 years of experience, he oversees tax service delivery, quality assurance and tax law adherence. Mark is Jackson Hewitt’s national spokesperson and liaison to the Internal Revenue Service and other government authorities. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), holds registrations in Alabama and Georgia, and is an expert on consumer income taxes including electronic tax and tax data protection.

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