Advertiser Disclosure

Expecting a Tax Refund? Don’t Worry About Missing the Filing Deadline

Missing the tax-filing deadline is fine for the many taxpayers who are expecting a tax refund for the year.

Tax Day has come and it’s no surprise that today happens to be one of the busiest days of the tax season. But, if you are expecting to receive a tax refund this year, you don’t have to join the other procrastinating taxpayers who rushing in their tax returns.

Paul Swansen / Flickr | https://www.flickr.com/photos/pswansen/4268846805
Paul Swansen / Flickr

It has been instilled in our heads that tax returns must be filed by April 15. Many people are unaware that this deadline doesn’t apply to taxpayers who are owed a refund. Understandably, the IRS is more concerned about collecting taxes that doling out refunds.

So, there is no rule that penalizes a taxpayer for filing their tax return after the deadline if the taxpayer is getting a refund.

However, it doesn’t mean that you should delay the filing of your tax returns -- you won’t get that refund if you don’t file. Additionally, your refund is forfeited to the government if you don’t claim it within three years of the original filing due date. You have until April 15, 2021 to claim your refund for the 2020 tax year.

Penalties for being late

The penalty for missing the filing deadline and failing to pay on time is 5 percent of the owed taxes for each month past the deadline. If you file more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty is $135 or 100 percent of the owed taxes, whichever is smaller.

Even with a tax-filing extension, which pushes the filing deadline to Oct. 15, you’ll still have to pay at least 90 percent of the due taxes by today to avoid failure-to-pay penalties.

See if you’ll get a refund

To see if you’re going to get a refund (and if you can file after the deadline without a penalty), use one of the many free tax-refund calculators that are available from tax-preparation companies, such as those from TurboTax and H&R Block.

While these calculators will provide a general picture of your tax situation, you cannot be absolutely sure that you are getting a refund until you file your return.

If you can make it by the deadline, you have nothing to worry about.

The earlier that you receive your refund, the sooner you can put that money in a retirement account or savings account.

Related Stories:

Doing Your Taxes Now? Last-Minute Tips

How the IRS Sees Your Side Gig: What Should You Know

Compare Best Accounts Now

Ask a Question

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers appearing on this site are from advertisers from which this website receives compensation for being listed here. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). These offers do not represent all account options available.

Editorial Disclosure: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.

User Generated Content Disclosure: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.