Deadline to File Taxes 

The tax season has an end, and by then, every taxpayer should have filed their federal income tax returns. Failure to file by the deadline can result in paying late-filing penalties. However, this doesn’t apply to all taxpayers. There is much to be learned about the last day to file taxes than just the April deadline.

This article will go over everything you need to know about the deadlines to file taxes. 

The last day to file taxes 2024 (for 2023 taxes)

The deadline to file taxes has almost always been April 15. This time, however, it’s different. The Internal Revenue Service moved the deadline to file taxes to April 18 for the 2023 taxes – the return you’ll file in 2024. 

While the deadline is pretty clear, there are ways to go around this. Requesting an extension to file your return gives you an additional six or so months to file. Doing this is pretty straightforward and can be done at the Internal Revenue Service website or by filling out the corresponding tax form.

Extension to file

A tax extension gives you until October 15 to file a federal income tax return. However, this only applies to the filing deadline. You must pay any tax owed by April 18 still. If you don’t, you’ll be subject to late-payment penalties. 

There are a couple of ways to pay taxes beforehand if you estimate that you owe any. Learn more about paying taxes online for an extension or other reasons.

See how to request an extension online or using Form 4868.

Requirements to file a federal income tax return

The tax filing deadlines won’t really be an issue if you’re not required to file a federal income tax return at all. This tax filing requirement is usually about your total gross income for the tax year. The minimum amount to file a return is usually the standard deduction for that tax year. That said, the minimum income to file taxes is different based on your filing status.

For the 2024 tax season, here are the minimum income requirements to file a tax return, which are also the same as the standard deduction.

Filing StatusUnder 6565 or older
Married Filing Separately$5$5
Married Filing Jointly$25,100$26,450 OR $27,800 if both spouses are 65 or older
Head of Household$18,800$20,500
Qualifying Widow(er)$25,100$26,450

Note that there isn’t a typo for the married filing separately. As the IRS encourages married couples to file taxes together, the minimum income to file a tax return for married couples filing a separate return is $5. Additionally, your age is determined by how old you were on the last day of the tax year – on December 31, 2023, for the 2024 tax season.

Why you might want to file taxes regardless

Deadline to File Taxes 
Deadline to File Taxes  1

Even if you’re not required to file a tax return, you may get a tax refund. This usually happens if you’re eligible for the refundable tax credits, the most common ones being the child tax credit, American opportunity tax credit, and the earned income tax credit

As a taxpayer who’s not required to file a tax return but eligible for the above credits, file a return anyway to get your rightfully owned tax refund. 

Additionally, if federal income taxes were withheld from your income and you’re not required to file a return, you should do so to get the withheld amount. Since the IRS won’t make the calculations on your behalf, you must file a tax return to get your refund.

Where the tax deadline may not apply

Although the April 18 deadline will apply to most taxpayers, it won’t matter as much to taxpayers that aren’t required to file taxes. However, you must file a return within three years after the tax year ends. Not filing a return for three years for the refund you’re anticipating will make the refund obsolete. 

Since you won’t get a refund until you file a return, make sure to file one as soon as possible to get your refund. The best part about this is that you’re more than likely to qualify for at least one of the free file offers. File electronically for free and get your refund sooner. Learn more about how the IRS Free File works.  

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