If you requested an extension to file your 2022 federal income tax return, it’s time to get in gear and file your return now (if you haven’t done so already). That’s because the tax extension deadline is just a few days away.
If you miss the extended tax filing deadline, the IRS can hit you with some pretty stiff penalties—up to 25% of any tax due. There are a few exceptions to the extended due date, though. As a result, if you can’t file your return in the next few days, you might be able to avoid a late-filing penalty.
So, if you filed an extension request earlier this year, check out the information below to see when your 2022 tax return is due. I’ll also provide some tips on how to beat the deadline and, perhaps, save a few bucks at the same time.
Original Tax Filing Due Date
This year’s “Tax Day” was April 18, 2023. That’s the day federal tax returns for the 2022 tax year were originally due.
Normally, Tax Day is on April 15. However, any tax deadline falling on a weekend or legal holiday automatically shifts to the first business day after the original deadline (i.e., to the next day that isn’t a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday).
In 2023, April 15 fell on a Saturday, which triggered the weekend/holiday rule. In most cases, a tax deadline falling on a Saturday is pushed back to the following Monday. However, that Monday (April 17) was a holiday in Washington, DC (Emancipation Day). And since the IRS recognizes DC holidays, the deadline to file a 2022 federal tax return was moved back another day to April 18, 2023.
Tax Extension Requests
If you weren’t able to meet the April 18 tax deadline for any reason, you could have requested a tax filing extension by doing one of the following:
- Filing Form 4868
- Sending an electronic tax payment to the IRS
However, you had to make a proper extension request no later than April 18, 2023.
If you did request an extension on time and expected to owe taxes, you should have also estimated your 2022 tax liability and sent the expected amount due to the IRS by April 18, 2023. That’s because an automatic tax extension only pushes back the date for filing your tax return. They didn’t extend the deadline for paying taxes.
Any estimated taxes paid by the original due date will be subtracted from your tax bill when you eventually file your tax return by the extended tax deadline. For 2022 tax year returns, enter the tax payment amount on Line 10 of Schedule 3 (Form 1040).
Related: What Tax Bracket Are You In?
Extended Tax Filing Deadline (October 16, 2023)
Generally, the due date for filing a 2022 federal income tax return that has been extended is October 16, 2023—that’s Monday! You can also file your return before that date, but wait until October 16 to pay any tax due.
However, as noted earlier, an extended federal tax return can be filed after the October 16 extension deadline in some cases. Let’s take a look at when the October 16 due date can be extended even further so that there’s even more time to file a 2022 federal income tax return.
YATI Tip: If you’ve already been granted an extension to qualify for the foreign earned income or housing tax breaks, you won’t qualify for an extension until December 15.
Taxpayers Affected By Recent Natural Disasters
The IRS provides tax relief to victims of certain natural disasters in the form of extended tax deadlines. As a result, some taxpayers affected by recent natural disasters can file their 2022 federal tax return after October 16.
Here’s a list of locations where the time to file a 2022 federal return is extended beyond October 16 because of a natural disaster (extended due dates are also provided):
- Alaska—Victims of flooding that began on May 12, 2023, have until October 31, 2023, to file their 2022 federal income tax return.
- Florida—People impacted by Hurricane Idalia don’t have to file their 2022 federal return until February 15, 2024.
- Georgia—Hurricane Idalia victims have until February 15, 2024, to file federal tax returns for the 2022 tax year.
- Hawaii—Taxpayers affected by wildfires beginning on August 8, 2023, have until February 15, 2024, to submit a 2022 federal return.
- Illinois—Victims of severe storms and flooding starting on June 29, 2023, can wait until October 31, 2023, to file their federal return for the 2022 tax year.
- Louisiana—Taxpayers impacted by seawater intrusion that began on September 20, 2023, don’t have to file a 2022 federal tax return until February 15, 2024.
- Maine—Victims of Hurricane Lee have until February 15, 2024, to file 2022 federal returns.
- Massachusetts—People affected by Hurricane Lee have an extension to February 15, 2024, for their 2022 federal return.
- South Carolina—Victims of Hurricane Idalia don’t have to file their 2022 federal return until February 15, 2024.
- Vermont—Taxpayers impacted by flooding that started July 7, 2023, have until November 15, 2023, to file their return.
YATI Tip: Various other tax filing and payment requirements are extended for victims of natural disasters. For example, taxpayers affected by a natural disaster are typically given more time to file business tax returns and make certain tax payments (including quarterly estimated tax payments and tax withholding deposits), too.
Serving In a Combat Zone
An automatic tax filing and payment extension that can extend beyond October 16 is available for people who are serving in a combat zone, have qualifying military service outside a combat zone, or are outside the U.S. in a contingency operation.
If you qualify for this extension, the original April 18 tax-filing deadline for your 2022 tax return is extended for 180 days after the later of:
- The last day you’re in a combat zone, have qualifying service outside a combat zone, or serve in a contingency operation (or the last day the area qualifies as a combat zone or the operation qualifies as a contingency operation)
- The last day of any continuous hospitalization for an injury from service in a combat zone or contingency operation, or while performing qualifying service outside a combat zone
The tax deadline is further extended by the number of days you had left to file and pay taxes when you entered the combat zone. For example, you generally have 3½ months to file your tax return (Jan. 1 to April 18 in 2023). Any days left in this period when you entered the combat zone, began performing qualifying service outside a combat zone, or began serving in a contingency operation are added to the 180 days. (You get the entire 3½ months if you begin before the start of the year.)
Taxpayers Living Abroad
Special filing extensions to October 16 are available for Americans living in another country. However, there are two ways taxpayers living abroad can potentially extend their due date beyond October 16.
First, a taxpayer living in another country might be able to get an additional extension to December 15, 2023. This extension is not automatic, though. To get it, you must send a letter to the IRS explaining why you need two more months to file your return.
The letter must also be sent before the October 16 extension deadline expires. You’ll only hear back from the IRS if the tax extension is denied.
Second, a tax extension might be available for people living abroad who need more time to meet the residency or physical presence requirements for either the foreign earned income exclusion or the foreign housing exclusion or deduction. This IRS extension is open ended, but it generally won’t extend the time to file your tax return for more than 30 days after you reasonably expect to qualify for the exclusion or deduction.
This extension is not automatic, either. You must request it using Form 2350.
Taxpayers Impacted by Terrorist Attacks in Israel
Tax relief in the form of extended tax deadlines is also available to taxpayers impacted by the terrorist attacks in Israel that began on Oct. 7, 2023. As a result, qualified taxpayers who requested an extension to file their 2022 federal income return will have until October 7, 2024, to file that return.
This relief is available to the following people:
- Any person whose principal residence is located in Israel, the West Bank or Gaza (covered area)
- Any person affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization and who is assisting in the covered area (e.g., as a relief worker)
- Any person whose tax return preparer or records necessary to meet a tax deadline are located in the covered area
- Any person visiting the covered area who was killed, injured, or taken hostage during the terrorist attacks
- Any spouse of an affected person, but only with regard to a joint return of married couple
The IRS will use previously filed tax returns to identify people whose principal residence is in the covered area. The tax relief will automatically be available to these taxpayers. Other people should call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request relief (international callers can dial 267-941-1000).
Filing Your Tax Return
If you’re under the gun and need to get your 2022 federal income tax return filed right away, here are a few tips that might help.
Gather Your Tax Documents, Receipt, Etc.
The first thing you’ll want to do is collect and organize all the documents, receipts for deductible expenses, and other information you’ll need to complete your return.
In addition to W-2 forms from your employer reporting wages, there’s a long list of similar tax forms that you need to pull together. For instance, you might have received one or more 1099 forms showing other types of income, such as interest, dividends, non-employee compensation, pension payments, taxable Social Security benefits, distributions from retirement plans, and the like. Or, perhaps, you got a 1098 form in the mail reporting mortgage interest, student loan interest, or tuition paid in 2022. This is not an exhaustive list—there are other tax forms you could get, too.
YATI Tip: Contact the employer, payer, or issuing agency if you’re missing or receive an incorrect W-2 or 1099 form. If they still don’t send a form (or corrected form), you can estimate the amounts that would or should be on the form using Form 4852, which you must send to the IRS.
You’ll also need receipts for any deductible expenses or for which you plan to claim a tax credit (e.g., such as receipts for child or dependent care, college expenses, or charitable donations). Have any records of 2022 financial transactions on hand as well, including records for any cryptocurrency or other digital assets you bought or sold last year.
You’ll also need Social Security numbers for everyone listed on your tax return (e.g., yourself, your spouse, and any dependents). Also have your bank account and routing numbers available so you can sign up for direct deposit of any tax refund.
Hiring a Tax Preparer
In addition to having a difficult time finding a tax preparer at the last minute, you also want to make sure you have a qualified professional handling your taxes. For this reason, it’s best to hire a credentialed preparer, such as a CPA, enrolled agent, or even a tax attorney. The IRS has an online directory that can help you find a credentialled tax preparer near you.
To weed out dishonest or incompetent preparers, you also might want to check out the preparers reputation in the community (e.g., check with the Better Business Bureau). A referral from a trusted friend or family member is another option. For CPAs and tax attorneys, contact the licensing authority in your state (e.g., bar association) to see if there have been any disciplinary actions taken against the prospective tax preparer. You can verify the status of an enrolled agent on the IRS website.
Also make sure you ask about fees up front. The complexity of your return, the preparer’s experience, and various other factors drive your bill up or down. If you can’t get an exact quote, at least make sure you understand the overall pricing structure, including what’s covered and what’s not (e.g., state return, e-filing fees, audit support, etc.).
And whatever you do, don’t hire a tax preparer if his or her fee is based on a percentage of your tax refund, you’re asked to sign a blank tax return, or he or she won’t sign and include a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) on your completed return. Those are big red flags about the preparer’s honesty and credibility!
If you have problems with a tax preparer, you can file a complaint with the IRS using Form 14157 and/or Form 14157-A. You can also report problems with a CPA or tax attorney to the state licensing board.
Doing It Yourself
There are a few options for DIYers who want to tackle their own tax return. The most common route is to use tax preparation software from companies like TurboTax, or a similar private company. Prices, functionality, and features for these tax prep programs vary widely, so make sure the software you select is right for your situation and budget. If you need a little help picking the right program, check out our tax software rankings.
If your 2022 adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less, you might be able file your tax return for FREE using private software under the IRS Free File program. However, pay close attention to each company’s eligibility requirements. Depending on your situation, you might not qualify for a free tax return even if your income is below the income threshold. Eligibility rules for each IRS Free File program participant and a selection tool are available on the IRS website.
If you feel comfortable enough, you can use the fillable forms on the IRS website for free. This is for people who already know their way around the tax forms. Unlike the private tax software programs, no guidance is provided. So, if you’re not comfortable figuring out things on your own, then this option is not for you.