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An extension to file taxes doesn't mean an extension to pay taxes, IRS says

Taxpayers should prepare to meet the April 18 deadline to avoid penalties or interest

Photo (c) Grejak - Getty Images
The deadline for taxpayers to get their 2022 returns submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is April 18, 2023. However, for any number of reasons, taxpayers can request an extension to get their returns done later in the year. 

The IRS said it wants taxpayers to be aware that just because they’re granted an extension, payments are still due by April 18. To avoid having to pay interest or penalty fees, taxpayers should ensure that all payments are submitted on time. 

Who can file for an extension?

The IRS explained that several groups may be eligible for an extension on their returns, including: 

  • U.S. taxpayers or resident aliens living abroad: This group receives an automatic two-month extension to both file federal returns and pay any taxes. However, if tax payments aren’t received by the time taxpayers return to the U.S., they will have to pay interest. Taxpayers must submit their returns with a statement that details their current living status to ensure they receive the two-month extension. 

  • Military members in combat zones: These taxpayers also receive a two-month extension to file their federal returns and pay any taxes. Similar to the first group, military personnel must also explain their situations when submitting their returns to receive the proper extension.

  • Victims in FEMA disaster areas: Unlike the other two groups, taxpayers in these designated areas don’t need to file any additional paperwork or alert the IRS to get the filing extension. However, each affected region is likely to have different extension deadlines, and the IRS encourages taxpayers to check the Tax Relief in Disaster Situations page for specific filing dates. 

  • Any taxpayer can request a six-month filing extension, pushing the deadline to October 16, 2023. 

Filing extensions for payments

For taxpayers who have taxes due, there are opportunities to request an extension on those payments. The online payment option will allow taxpayers to either select “extension” as the payment type, or submit Form 4868 to send in their payments at a later date. 

The IRS also offers taxpayers payment plans that can help them avoid any late fees or potential penalties. Paying off the total on a monthly basis can be a good way for taxpayers to chip away at their totals and still get payments in on time. 

For taxpayers who are struggling with their finances but still owe taxes, the IRS can pause any tax payments due. While the IRS will ask taxpayers to submit certain documents to determine their financial status, interest and penalties will continue to add up until the total amount is officially paid off. 

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