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When is Tax Day 2024? Deadlines for filing tax returns, extensions and what you need to know

There is a cliché about life's certainties, and the time for one of them is drawing near.

Tax season is entering crunch time as the deadline to file is just over three weeks away.

The Internal Revenue Service has received 1.7% fewer returns this tax season but has processed 2% fewer returns this year compared to 2023, according to Forbes.

The average tax refund issued by the IRS as of March 1 is $3,182, a 5.1% increase compared to the similar filling period in 2023. The trend may not hold as refund amounts dropped 13% between March and April in 2023, according to Barron's.

Here are the deadlines to file your tax return or request an extension.

Calculator, currency, dollar bills close up.
Calculator, currency, dollar bills close up.

When is the last day to file taxes in 2024?

The last day to file a tax return with the IRS is Monday, April 15 for the vast majority of Americans.

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If you don't expect to meet the April 15 deadline, you can request a six-month extension before Tax Day to avoid any penalties and interest.

What is the deadline to file an extension

The deadline to file an extension is April 15.

The IRS says you may qualify for an extension and do not need to submit a request electronically or on paper if you live in certain disaster areas.

Shabani Munyugu fills out tax forms in a personal finance class in Winooski, Vermont on Feb. 21, 2023.
Shabani Munyugu fills out tax forms in a personal finance class in Winooski, Vermont on Feb. 21, 2023.

When is the deadline if I file an extension?

If you file an extension for your tax return, you'll have until Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2024 to file.

What happens if I miss the tax deadline?

If you forget or miss the deadline, the standard penalty is 5% of any tax due for every month the return is late, up to 25% of the unpaid balance.

If you file a return but fail to pay any taxes you owe, or if you get an extension and don't pay (an extension to file is not an extension to pay, the IRS reminds you), you typically face a much smaller monthly penalty of 0.5% of any unpaid amount.

Does every state have to file taxes by April 15?

Some Americans have different tax deadlines than the standard April 15.

Individuals and businesses in parts of Tennessee affected by the severe storms and tornadoes in December have until June 17 to file their taxes.

Residents of Massachusetts and Maine have until April 17 to file federal taxes because of state holidays.

Individuals and businesses affected by Hamas attacks in Israel have until Oct. 7 to file their taxes.

Parts of other states, like Michigan, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine, have later deadlines to file. For a full list of disaster-related tax relief, visit here.

A man works on his taxes ng room.
A man works on his taxes ng room.

How to request an extension for a tax return

You can request an extension through the IRS, which is free.

You'll need basic information, like your name, address, Social Security number, estimated tax liability, and payment if you owe anything.

Regardless of income, individual tax filers can use IRS Free File to request an extension electronically. If you prefer to mail a paper version of the extension, called form 4868, make sure it's postmarked no later than April 15.

If you request and extension, you'll have until Oct. 15 to file your return.

Contributing: Daniel de Visé

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tax Day 2024: When is the deadline for filing tax returns