Tax Deadline 2021
It’s coming up to that time of year again when tax returns are due. The first date that these can be submitted for 2021 is Jan 24, 2022. Filing a tax return can be a confusing process and, especially with the rules and deadlines changing slightly over the past couple of years, it’s a good idea to get it straight so you understand exactly what to file and when.
The deadline for your 2021 tax return
While 2020 saw an extension on tax return filing dates across the USA due to the hardships brought onto many people during the pandemic and winter storms in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, 2021 has seen many businesses reopening, stimulus payments being issued and overall, a steady return to the norm as assistance has been provided for those facing financial difficulty.
As such, the previous extension has been lifted, meaning the latest tax returns must be filed in April of 2022. However, you do have a couple of extra days with the normal deadline (April 15) is Emancipation Day this year, so the latest possible filing day has been moved along to April 18.
If you’re a resident of Maine or Massachusetts though, you do gain an extra day on top of this with Patriot’s Day being held on April 18. If you live here, your deadline will be stretched to April 19.
If you have requested an extension, then you may have up until Oct 17, 2022, to file your full tax return for 2021.
What about people living abroad?
If you’re physically outside of the United States on Tax Day (April 18) then you get an automatic 2-month extension to file your federal tax return. June 15, 2022 is the deadline to file your federal tax return if you’re living abroad.
Keep in mind, any tax due to the IRS is still payable by April 18 and they’ll add interest to your balance from April 19.
Getting an extension when you’re living abroad:
You can request an extension to file your return beyond June 15. By filing Form 4868, you’ll get a further 4-months so your filing deadline will be October 15, 2022.
Important tax dates during 2022
What if I’m way behind on my U.S. tax returns?
There is a special IRS program to help you catch up on your U.S. taxes safely, without fines and penalties
It’s for American citizens that didn’t know they had to file U.S. tax returns each year, and have therefore fallen behind. Some more than 30 years! With the IRS Streamlined Procedure, say goodbye to overdue tax returns, late fees, and penalties. If you have children, we can backdate your Child Tax Credit Refund for 3 years.
Get a quote here.
Requesting an Extension to File a Tax Return 2021
You can request an extension to file your tax return 2021 if you have mitigating circumstances which might mean that you can’t fully file it before April 2022.
The maximum extension deadline would be until October 2022 for your 2021 return or 6 months from the original deadline.
If you need to request an extension, you must still contact the IRS and request an automatic extension online. In most cases, these extensions are granted automatically. But, even with an extension you would need to initially provide an estimate of your tax return finances and how much you expect to receive back as a credit. You must also pay a percentage of your taxes due at the time of the extension request.
When filling out the form to request an extension, you will need to provide a valid reason why your tax return will be late. Possible reasons for extension are:
- You haven’t received all of your year-end financial statements yet.
- An organization you work with has also been delayed in their returns, so you are waiting on them.
- A family emergency or illness.
- You need to make a few more contributions to a retirement fund.
Mass Extensions in Specific States
On rare occasions, the IRS will grant a mass extension per area or state to help people if they have experienced incidents such as natural disasters. This is granted to specific states who may have suffered financial hardship due to a natural disaster and may also have difficulty finding the correct paperwork to file on time.
If your area has been granted an extension, you will be informed automatically, and no penalties will be incurred for late filing.
Why is the Tax Deadline Different in 2021?
In the previous couple of years, the tax return deadline was extended to May 17. This was to allow the IRS to prioritize Covid-19 relief payments such as Stimulus Payments to businesses or individuals that were suffering as a result of the pandemic.
Many people’s taxes were also affected by unemployment benefits, increased child tax credits and insurance changes. This made filing for tax a little more complex and meant that reclaims and credits needed to be made for missed stimulus payments.
The extension here gave tax filers and the IRS a little more time to get everything in order before the deadline.
However, as 2021 was the final year for stimulus payments, the deadline has been pulled back to the normal April date each year.
Important Tax Deadlines and Dates
- The IRS will issue a letter to make you aware of any stimulus payments or extra funding that you should have received during the pandemic. This will give you a chance to rectify any mistakes and request a refund or credit any missing funds on your tax return.
- Jan 24, 2022 is the earliest date that you’ll be able to file your tax return to the IRS.
- April 18, 2022 is your last date to file your return unless you request an extension. If you don’t file on time, you may incur a fine. If you reside in Maine or Massachusetts, your last date to file your return is April 19.
- If you’ve already requested an extension and had this approved, you will have until Oct 17 to file your return.
The IRS encourages people to file their tax return electronically via their website and use a direct deposit to pay funds. Filing electronically means that a refund (if you are due one) should be returned within 21 days as long as there are no complications. A refund if you file manually could take up to 3 months to be received.
Filing electronically is also a much more secure way to file a tax return, as you can guarantee that no important financial documents get lost and you’ll receive a confirmation at each stage to prove you filed on time. This system also provides tax returns directly into a bank account electronically, so there’s no need to wait for a check in the mail.
If you’re self-employed or have other income made outside your main job, then you may need to fill in your 1040-ES form and provide quarterly tax returns on the following dates:
- April 18, 2022
- June 15, 2022
- September 15, 2022
- January 15, 2023
What Happens If You Miss the Tax Return Deadline?
Missing a deadline isn’t the end of the world, as long as you act as soon as you realise you are about to miss it or immediately afterward. However, failure to act as soon as possible can lead to financial penalties.
If you are due a tax refund, then there’s rarely a penalty for a late filing and any penalty will be debited from your refund total, rather than being removed from your account. If you wish to apply for a refund, you have a period of 3 years from the tax return due date to file as long as all other returns are up to date. This gives you until 2025 to apply for a refund for the 2021 tax year.
However, if you miss the deadline and actually owe the IRS some tax, then they’ll typically charge interest for every day that it’s outstanding past the deadline. It’s worth moving as quickly as possible to reduce your costs.
What If You Are unable to Pay Your Tax at the Tax Return Deadline?
Many people make the mistake of filing late because they just can’t afford to pay the full tax amount at the tax return deadline. If you are struggling to meet payments by the tax return 2021 deadline, then it’s still best to file your return as soon as possible.
This is because your penalties will grow for each day that you don’t file, potentially making your financial difficulties much worse if you hold off.
The IRS will be more lenient on you if your tax return is filed on time. You should file by the deadline and pay as much as you possibly can on that date. You should be able to set up a payment plan through the IRS for the remaining balance.
If you don’t file at all, you run the risk of higher penalties and you won’t be able to request an extension or payment plan either.
Recovering from Tax Filing Mistakes
For people who are new to filing taxes for their business or for themselves as an individual due to circumstance changes, there are bound to be mistakes made. But don’t worry too much.
The IRS website is simple and self-explanatory and allows you to save your tax return to come back to it later. This means that if there are any tricky parts that you need to get advice on, you can seek clarification before saving and sending your tax return.
If you realize a little too late, that you’ve missed something vital, then there’s no need to fill in the whole form again. You can request a 1040-X form to simply amend the section that you missed. This is a two-page form that generates as an attachment to your original and will be considered as part of your original document by the IRS.
Filing a whole new form can lead to complications and may mean that you end up paying more tax than you need to, so avoid this wherever possible.
Filing your tax return 2021 before the deadline is incredibly important. It means that you won’t face financial penalties for late filing and ensures that you can keep up to date with payments. Even if you don’t feel you have the funds to pay your whole tax return, filing early and paying as much as you can afford will pay off in the long run.
The IRS is now open to take tax returns for 2021, so file as soon as possible to get your taxes boxed off or receive those refunds early.
Spread the word. Please share… 👉