April 15 has been ingrained in the minds of Americans as the date their tax returns must be filed. However, individual income tax returns have received extensions to that date for this year. Also, a handful of additional deadlines apply to filings other than individual income tax returns.

Even with the filing deadline extension and staggered due dates, mistakes happen and tax returns can be late. Sometimes the penalties can be removed or reduced, but it is altogether easier to file on time before that becomes an issue. A Maryland tax lawyer at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg can answer questions before filing a tax return or can assist in attempting to remove penalties for unfiled tax returns.

Individual income tax return filing deadline extension

For most individuals filing income tax returns this year, the deadline has been extended to April 18. Residents of Maine and Massachusetts have an extra day on top of that, until April 19, to file. This comes with the caveat that only the deadline for forms is extended; however, estimated tax payments are due to the IRS by the 18th.

A mix of state holidays is to thank for the extension. The Internal Revenue Code provides that when April 15th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the filing deadline will fall to the following business day. This year, April 15 falls on a Friday; however, another law recognizes April 16 as Emancipation Day in Washington D.C. Confusing matters further, when April 16 falls on a Saturday, it will be observed on April 15.  Therefore, a D.C. holiday on a Saturday indirectly bumps Tax Day to Monday, April 18, except in Maine and Massachusetts, which recognize the third Monday in April as Patriots Day.

There is also an automatic extension for U.S. citizens or resident aliens living abroad, who are still subject to U.S. income tax on worldwide income, no matter when they live. Their filing deadlines are automatically extended two months, until June 15. However, those who take advantage of the extension still owe interest on any taxes owed that are not paid by the regular April due date. An additional extension until October 15 can be requested before the 2-month extension expires.

The individual income tax filing deadline is just the beginning. There are also separate deadlines for corporate income tax returns (March 15), tax returns for exempt organizations (May 15), and foreign bank account reporting (June 30).

Filing tax returns on time is easier than filing late

If life gets in the way, you may think it is easier to just file a late tax return. Unfortunately, failing to file on time can result in substantial penalties.  In total, there are nearly 150 penalties that the IRS can tack on to a tax bill. Additionally, Maryland’s interest rate on deficient taxes is a whopping 13% – the country’s highest.

It is possible to file for an abatement of penalties on taxes due, but it is much easier to file on time and avoid the hassle of a penalty abatement request. To avoid the pitfalls of filing a late tax return, consult with a Baltimore tax attorney at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg. You can receive a confidential consultation by calling (410) 727-6600.