Dates and Deadlines

File Your Taxes Late With No Penalty

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Didn't file your 2015 taxes by April 18, 2016? Yes, tax day was the 18th this year instead of the 15th. No worries, we'll let you in on an industry secret – if you're getting a refund, you can file for up to 3 years with no late fees or penalties! If you owe additional taxes, your penalties are racking up so file your tax return as soon as possible to stop the clock on them. Either way, it's not too late to file your 2015 taxes. Read more about your specific situation below.

If you're getting a refund on your 2015 tax return:

  • You can file through April 18, 2019 (October 18, 2019 if you filed an extension) with no late fees or penalties.  
  • The IRS stops accepting e-files for 2015 returns in November 2016.  If you don't file by then, you'll need to print and file by mail.  Don't worry, we'll walk you through that, too.  
  • If you don't file by 2019, you forfeit your refund.
  • Your refund is an interest free loan you've given Uncle Sam, so why give him any longer to pay you back?  And it’s not a small loan – the average refund is around $2,800 this year!  File today and get your refund back!

If you owe additional 2015 taxes:

  • There is no penalty if you filed an extension and paid 90% or more of taxes owed by April 18, 2016 as long as you file your return by October 18, 2016.
  • A late filing penalty applies if you owe taxes and didn't file your return or an extension by April 18, 2016.
    • The late filing penalty is 5% of the additional taxes owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) your return is late, up to a maximum of 25%.
    • The late filing penalty is 10 times higher than the late payment penalty. If you can't pay your tax bill and didn't file an extension, at least file your return as soon as possible! You can always amend it later.
    • A late payment penalty applies if you didn't pay 90% or more of taxes owed by April 18, 2016, whether you filed an extension or not.
      • The late payment penalty is 0.5% (1/2 of 1 percent) of the additional tax owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) the owed tax remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 25%.

If you're not sure if you owe or are getting a refund in 2015:

  • If there's a chance you owe, the penalties are racking up, so don't wait another day.
  • Most of our customers complete their taxes in minutes, so file now and get it over with.

 

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Don't File a Tax Extension, File Your Return

Haven't filed your taxes yet?  Considering filing a tax extension?  Read this article before you do, because tax extensions are fool's gold.  Why? You may not need to file an extension and if you do file an extension, you still have to pay the taxes you owe. The following info applies to federal tax returns, many states have different rules.  

File Your Taxes Now

 

tax extension

 

Why Don't I Need to File a Tax Extension?

Tax extensions are one of the most misunderstood options you have when filing your taxes. There are two important reasons that filing a tax extension is a waste of time:

  1. If you're getting a refund, as two-thirds of all taxpayers are, you are not required to file a tax extension if you choose to file your taxes after April 15th.  You have three years to file your return with no late fees or penalties.  April 15th is a payment deadline, not necessarily a filing deadline.
  2. If you're NOT getting a refund (you owe additional taxes), you still have to pay at least 90% of the taxes you owe by April 15th.  That's right, an extension does't buy you any extra time to pay the taxes you owe.  Plus, you still have to prepare enough of your tax return to determine if you owe and how much you owe.  Once you've done this much work, you might as well go the last mile and just finish and file your return.

 

So What Should I Do Instead of Filing a Tax Extension?

File your tax return!  As mentioned above, if you're getting a refund there is no need to file an extension.  Don't get us wrong, we're not suggesting that you extend the interest free loan you've given Uncle Sam, but if you can't file by 4/15 and you're sure you're getting a refund - don't sweat it.  Just file when.  We do recommend you file in 2015, as most tax software companies raise their prices for prior year returns.

If you owe additional taxes, then you definitely should file by April 15th. Otherwise you must:  1) File an extension by April 15, 2015, 2) pay 90% or more of taxes owed by April 15th, 3) File your return and pay remaining taxes owed by October 15, 2015.

  • If you don't file your return or an extension by April 15, 2015, a late filing penalty applies:
    • The late filing penalty is 5% of the additional taxes owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) your return is late, up to a maximum of 25%.
    • The late filing penalty is 10 times higher than the late payment penalty. If you can’t pay your tax bill and didn’t file an extension, at least file your return as soon as possible! You can always amend it later.
  • And, a late payment penalty applies if you don’t pay 90% or more of taxes owed by April 15, 2015, whether you filed an extension or not.
    • The late payment penalty is 0.5% (1/2 of 1 percent) of the additional tax owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) the owed tax remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 25%.

In other words, you're not getting off the hook for the taxes you owe and you're going to expose yourself to more late fees, penalties, and headaches.

 

What Else Do I Need To Know About Tax Extensions?

As mentioned above, an extension does NOT give you any extra time to pay the IRS the taxes you owe.  If you're stuck and unable to pay the taxes you owe, contact the IRS immediately and work out a payment plan.

We're not advocating filing late or taking unnecessary risks.  If there is any chance you owe additional taxes, you need to pay them by April 15th and file your tax return or an extension.  We recommend you spend that time and energy completing your return, not filing an extension.

 

File Your Taxes Now

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Tax Day 2015

tax filing deadline

 The deadline to file your taxes in 2015, also known as Tax Day, is April 15th.

 

Tax Day 2015

April 15th.  If you know one date about taxes, it's this one.  However the most well known date in the tax code is also the most misunderstood.  Most people think it's the deadline for filing their personal income taxes.  That's pretty close and there's no reason why you shouldn't file by 4/15.  However if you're getting a refund, which most taxpayers are, you don't have to file by tax day.  In fact you have 3 years to file with no late fees or penalties. Note this info applies to federal returns, many states have different rules.

 

So What Does Tax Day Really Mean?

Tax Day is a payment deadline, not necessarily a filing deadline.  The meaning differs if you're getting a refund vs. if you owe taxes. The following information applies to Tax Day 2015 (filing taxes on the money you made in 2014).

If you’re getting a refund:

  • You can file for 3 years, through April 15, 2018 with no late fees or penalties.  You don't need to file an extension, just file whenever you like.
  • If you don’t file by 2018, you forfeit your refund.
  • Although you don't have to file by April 15, we recommend you do.  Your refund is an interest free loan you're giving Uncle Sam, why give him any longer to pay you back?  And it's not a small loan - the average refund is $2,893 this year!  File today and get yours!

If you owe additional  taxes:

  • There is no penalty if you file an extension and pay 90% or more of taxes owed by April 15, 2015 as long as you file your return by October 15, 2015.
  • A late filing penalty applies if you owe taxes and don't file your return or an extension by April 15, 2015.
    • The late filing penalty is 5% of the additional taxes owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) your return is late, up to a maximum of 25%.
    • The late filing penalty is 10 times higher than the late payment penalty. If you can’t pay your tax bill and didn’t file an extension, at least file your return as soon as possible! You can always amend it later.
  • A late payment penalty applies if you don't pay 90% or more of taxes owed by April 15, 2015, whether you filed an extension or not.
    • The late payment penalty is 0.5% (1/2 of 1 percent) of the additional tax owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) the owed tax remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 25%.

If you’re not sure if you owe or are getting a refund:

  • If there’s a chance you owe, the penalties could be racking up, so don’t risk it by waiting.  File by April 15.
  • Most of our customers complete their taxes in minutes, so file now and get it over with.

 

What About Filing an Extension?

Extensions are fool’s goldyou still have to pay at least 90% of taxes owed.  That means you have to do enough of your taxes to determine how much you owe.  You might as well just spend a few more minutes and finish your taxes.  And if you're getting a refund, federal extensions are unnecessary.  You have 3 years to file, without filing an extension.

 

What If I Miss the Tax Filing Deadline?

As mentioned above, it depends if you're getting a refund or owe taxes.  If you're getting a refund, you can file for 3 years, through April 15, 2018, with no late fees or penalties.  If you are unable to pay the taxes you owe, contact the IRS and work out a payment plan.

 

File Your Taxes Now

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When can I file my 2015 taxes?

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Update: Click here to see 2016 dates

 

 

Great question!  But what you really meant to ask is – when can I file my 2014 taxes?  It’s a bit confusing.  In 2015 you will be filing your 2014 taxes, settling up with Uncle Sam on the income you made in 2014. The short answer is - now!  File your taxes today.  For more important tax dates and deadlines, read on.

January 5, 2015

Common Form opened its virtual doors and started accepting 2014 tax returns.

January 20, 2015

IRS e-file goes live and begins processing returns.  If you file your taxes with us before Jan 20th, we'll transmit your return as soon as IRS is ready to process it.

February 2, 2015

Deadline for your employer to mail you your 2014 W-2.  Note this is a mailing deadline, not a receipt deadline, so if your company is slacking, it may take a few extra days to get it via snail mail.  Many employers offer electronic versions via the same website you can view your pay checks.

If you received unemployment income, this is also the deadline for the state(s) to provide you with a 1099-G.

Finally, this is deadline for banks to supply you with a 1099-INT reporting bank account interest you made.  Note that banks are only required to issue a 1099-INT if you made at least $10 of interest during the year, however you are still required to report it even if they don't send you one.  If you made less than $10, use your bank statements or online banking to determine the amount of interest you made.

April 15, 2015

Also known as “tax day.”  Most people believe this is the deadline to file your income taxes.  That’s close enough.  It’s actually a payment deadline rather than a filing deadline.  If you owe IRS additional taxes, you must file and pay them by this date to avoid fees and penalties.  However, if you’re getting a refund, this deadline doesn’t apply to you.  You can file for up to 3 years with no late fees or penalties. Read more about the deadline or file your taxes now.

If you want to, you could file an extension.  But extensions are fool’s gold – you still have to pay at least 90% of taxes owed.

October 15, 2015

If you filed an extension and owe additional taxes, this is your deadline to file your completed return and pay any remaining taxes owed.

 

IRS E-file Opened Today

IRS e-file

IRS e-File Opened Today

IRS e-file opened today, January 20, 2015. If you've already filed with a software provider, they will transmit it to IRS on a first in, first out basis. IRS also began processing paper returns today.

Here are the top five reasons to e-File from the IRS:

1. Accurate and easy. IRS e-file is the best way to file an accurate tax return. The tax software that you use to e-file helps avoid mistakes by doing the math for you. It guides you every step of the way as you do your taxes. IRS e-file can also help with the new health care law tax provisions. The bottom line is that e-file is much easier than doing your taxes by hand and mailing paper tax forms.

2. Convenient options. You can buy commercial tax software to e-file or ask your tax preparer to e-file your tax return. You can also e-file through IRS Free File, the free tax preparation and e-file program available only on IRS.gov. You may qualify to have your taxes filed through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. In general, VITA offers free tax preparation and e-file if you earned $53,000 or less. TCE offers help primarily to people who are age 60 or older.

3. Safe and secure. IRS e-file meets strict security guidelines. It uses secure encryption technology to protect your tax return. The IRS has safely and securely processed more than 1.3 billion e-filed tax returns from individuals since the program began.

4. Faster refunds. In most cases you get your refund faster when you e-file. That’s because there is nothing to mail and your return is virtually free of mistakes. The fastest way to get your refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit into your bank account. The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days.

5. Payment flexibility. If you owe taxes, you can e-file early and set up an automatic payment on any day until the April 15 due date. You can pay electronically from your bank account. You can also pay by check, money order, debit or credit card. Visit IRS.gov/payments for more information.

 

IRS e-File Opens January 20, 2015

IRS e-File Opens January 20, 2015.

Following the passage of the extenders legislation, the Internal Revenue Service announced today it anticipates opening the 2015 filing season as scheduled in January. The IRS will begin accepting tax returns electronically on January 20, 2015. Paper tax returns will begin processing at the same time.

The decision follows Congress renewing a number of "extender" provisions of the tax law that expired at the end of 2013. These provisions were renewed by Congress through the end of 2014. The final legislation was signed into law Dec 19, 2014.

You can file your taxes before January 20th with most tax software providers and they will be "stockpiled" until IRS is open. When e-file is ready, returns will be submitted to IRS in the order they were received.

When can I file my 2014 taxes?

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Update: Click here to see 2016 dates

 

When can I file my 2014 taxes?  The short answer is - now!  File your taxes today.  More details and a calendar of important dates and deadlines for filing your 2014 taxes is below.

January 5, 2015

Common Form opened for business and began accepting 2014 tax returns.  You can do your taxes and we will hold your return until IRS opens.

January 20, 2015

IRS e-file goes live and begins process returns.  If you file your taxes before Jan 20th, we'll transmit your return as soon as IRS is ready to process it.

February 2, 2015

Deadline for your employer to mail you your W-2.  This is a mailing deadline, so if your company waits to the last minute you may not get it until early February.  However, many employers offer electronic versions via the same website you can view your pay check stubs.  If you received unemployment, this is also the deadline for the state(s) that paid you to issue you a 1099-G.

Deadline for banks to supply you with a 1099-INT reporting bank account interest you made.  Note that banks are only required to issue a 1099-INT if you made at least $10 of interest during the year, however you are still required to report it even if they don't send you one.  If you made less than $10, use your bank statements or online banking to determine the amount of interest you made.

April 15, 2015

Also known as “tax day.”  Most people believe this is the deadline to file your 2014 income taxes.  That’s close enough.  It’s actually a payment deadline rather than a filing deadline.  If you owe IRS additional taxes, you must pay and file them to avoid fees and penalties.  However, if you’re getting a refund, this deadline doesn’t apply to you.  You can file for up to 3 years with no late fees or penalties. Read more about the deadline or file your taxes now.

If you want to, you could file an extension.  But extensions are fool’s gold – you still have to pay at least 90% of taxes owed and do almost as much work as filing your return.

October 15, 2015

If you filed an extension and owe additional taxes, this is the deadline to file your return and pay any remaining taxes you owe.

 

It's not too late to file your 2013 taxes!

Didn't file your 2013 taxes by April 15, 2014? No worries, we'll let you in on an industry secret – if you're getting a refund, you can file for up to 3 years with no late fees or penalties! If you owe, your penalties are racking up so file your return as soon as possible to stop the clock on them. Either way, it's not too late to file your 2013 taxes. Read more about your specific situation below.  

If you need to do your 2014 taxes (typically filed by April 15, 2015), click here to file your 2014 taxes with Common Form.

 

If you're getting a refund on your 2013 return:

  • You can file through April 15, 2017 (October 15, 2017 with an extension) with no late fees or penalties.
  • If you don't file by 2017, you forfeit your refund.
  • Common Form doesn't support prior year taxes, so we recommend our friends over at TaxAct if you still need to file your 2013 taxes.

 

If you owe additional 2013 taxes:

  • There is no penalty if you filed an extension and paid 90% or more of taxes owed by April 15, 2014 as long as you file your return by October 15, 2014.
  • A late filing penalty applies if you owe taxes and didn't file your return or an extension by April 15, 2014.
    • The late filing penalty is 5% of the additional taxes owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) your return is late, up to a maximum of 25%.
    • The late filing penalty is 10 times higher than the late payment penalty. If you can't pay your tax bill and didn't file an extension, at least file your return as soon as possible! You can always amend it later.
  • A late payment penalty applies if you didn't pay 90% or more of taxes owed by April 15, 2014, whether you filed an extension or not.
    • The late payment penalty is 0.5% (1/2 of 1 percent) of the additional tax owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) the owed tax remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 25%.

 

If you're not sure if you owe or are getting a refund in 2013: