One of the biggest questions we get asked is when are tax returns filed. Each year the beginning of tax season changes slightly. The opening date that the IRS will begin receiving returns typically takes place in mid to late January. The deadline is almost always April 15th. This means that a tax return sent via mail must be post-dated by the date of April 15th.
This year, the tax return filing dates are from February 12, 2021, through April 15, 2021. The later date continues to be due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. Moving the start date to mid-February allows time for the IRS time to process Congressionally approved stimulus payments.
It’s important to note that the deadline for corporations and other legal entities is March 15th.
Are you used to doing your taxes in January? Don’t want to wait until February 12th? You can schedule your appointment to come in during January or early February. We will process all of your paperwork and have it ready to send as soon as the IRS begins processing on the 12th.
From time to time, depending on both the calendar and historical events that date has been altered. For example, in 2020 due to the worldwide pandemic, the tax filing date was moved to July the 15th. While in 2017 the 15th of April fell on a Saturday, a non-business day, so the tax deadline was pushed to April the 17th.
The History of Tax Filing Dates
In 1860 the Civil War had proved to be very costly to fund. President Lincoln with the approval of Congress enacted the first income tax requiring citizens to pay a tax on monies they had earned. At that time the deadline for completing and filing individual income tax returns was set for March 1st.
Several years after the Civil War, during a former world pandemic, the Spanish Flue, the deadline was pushed to March 15th. Later during the great tax overhaul of 1954, the date was moved to April the 15th and this has remained the deadline, with a few exceptions as mentioned above.
What Happens if You Can’t File by the Tax Filing Deadline?
If you are unable to file an individual or joint tax return by the tax filing deadline then you are required to file for an extension of time by submitting Form 4868. You must file this form by April 15th. Filing for an extension will allow you to file by a later deadline, typically October 15th, however, if you owe in taxes the extension will not alleviate the penalties, late fees, and interest which may be incurred due to the late filing.
That’s why it’s a good idea for you to file early rather than later.
- Don’t Wait… We can begin preparing your tax returns anytime.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment.