Taxes are due July 15: Here's what you need to know

The IRS postponed Tax Day, which typically falls on April 15, amid the coronavirus pandemic, but you can still get a refund, request an extension and use various payment plans.
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By Ashley Capoot

July 15 is the final deadline for 2019 tax filings and payments, as the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced that they will not be postponing it further.

The initial April 15 deadline was pushed back to accommodate taxpayers who had been economically impacted by restrictions related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he was “thinking about” extending the deadline further while at a virtual Bloomberg Invest Global summit on June 23, but by June 29, the department had announced its plan to stick to the July deadline.

What are my payment options?

Taxpayers can send a check or money order through the mail or choose from three different services to file their taxes.

IRS Direct Pay is one service that allows people to make payments directly from savings and checking accounts for free. The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System is another free service that allows taxpayers to make payments by phone or online. People can also choose to make payments with their debit and credit cards, though different processing companies might charge fees.

Can I request an extension?

Taxpayers can request an extension, which will give them through Oct. 15 to file their returns. However, this extension is only supposed to provide extra time to file, and it does not postpone any actual payments.

To get an extension, taxpayers must fill out a form, estimate their tax liability and pay any dues that they owe.

I can’t pay in full. What should I do?

The IRS is encouraging all taxpayers to pay what they can, even if it is not in full, to avoid interest and other penalties.

“The IRS understands that those affected by the coronavirus may not be able to pay their balances in full by July 15, but we have many payment options to help taxpayers,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a June 29 news release.

Late-payment penalties and interest will begin to apply to unpaid taxes after July 15, but the IRS is offering several payment plans that can reduce these penalties. Additionally, the penalty rate was reduced from 0.5% to 0.25% per month, and the underpayment interest rate is 3% for the July 1 calendar quarter.

Will I get a refund?

The IRS is still issuing electronic and paper refunds for 2020.

Refunds are typically issued within three weeks, but you could experience delays due to the pandemic.

Next Steps

You can find how much you owe the IRS by using its online tool, calling the agency directly or looking at the latest notice that you received by mail. Once you know how much you need to pay, you can select a payment option that works best for you.

Be sure to double-check your state’s tax deadlines as well, because those may differ from the federal July 15 deadline.