Most people know that federal income tax returns are due in April. But there are a lot of other important tax deadlines during the year you might have questions about.
For instance: When are taxes due if you’re self-employed or live overseas? When’s the last day to contribute to a 401(k) account, IRA, or health savings account? When do you have to report taxable tips to your employer? What if your tax records are destroyed during a hurricane or other natural disaster?
Not knowing the answer to these or other questions about federal tax due dates can impact your bottom line. If you’re required to file a tax return or owe taxes to Uncle Sam, missing the deadline can cost you dearly—in the form of steep penalties and interest payments.
The month-by-month federal tax deadline descriptions that follow cover the most important deadlines for individual taxpayers. They include due dates for estimated tax payments, filing extension requests, withdrawing funds from retirement accounts, and more. Hopefully, they will help you meet all your tax filing deadlines and pay taxes on time, so you don’t have to pay additional penalties and interest to the IRS.
Table of Contents
January 2024 Tax Deadlines
Workers who receive tips must include tips received during the 2023 tax year as taxable income on their federal tax return. However, they must also report tips of $20 or more to their employer each month. For tips received in December 2023, the due date for reporting tips to your employer is Jan. 10.
For most taxpayers who must pay estimated taxes, the fourth payment (and final payment) for the 2023 tax year is due on Jan. 16. However, you don’t have to make the fourth payment if you file your 2023 federal return and pay the entire balance of income taxes due by Jan. 31.
There’s also a special estimated tax rule and deadline for farmers and fishermen in January. If at least two-thirds of your gross income is from farming or fishing, you only have to make one estimated tax payment for the year. For 2023 estimated taxes, the filing deadline for that one payment is Jan. 16.
February 2024 Tax Deadlines
The due date for an employee reporting tips received in January is Feb. 12.
If you claimed an income tax withholding exemption for the 2023 tax year, you must give your employer a new W-4 form by Feb. 15 if you want your exemption from tax withholding to continue in 2024.
In addition, victims of various 2023 natural disasters in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, and South Carolina now have until Feb. 15 to file various returns and pay taxes normally due in 2023 or early 2024.
Likewise, taxpayers impacted by the seawater intrusion in Louisiana that began on Sept. 20, 2023, also have until Feb. 15 to file returns and pay taxes that were originally due between Sept. 20, 2023, and Feb. 14, 2024.
March 2024 Tax Deadlines
For farmers and fishermen who didn’t make the required estimated tax payment for the 2023 tax year by Jan. 16, the deadline for filing a 2023 income tax return and paying taxes is March 1.
This month’s tip reporting due date—for tips received in February—is on March 11.
April 2024 Tax Deadlines
April is the busiest month on the federal tax calendar. If you turned 73 years old in 2023, the month starts with the April 1 due date for taking your first required minimum distribution from your retirement accounts.
In addition, the monthly tip reporting deadline is on April 10 (for tips received in March).
And, of course, there’s April 15—the end of income tax filing season! For most taxpayers, it’s the last day to file your tax return and pay taxes you owe. However, if you can’t complete your return before the filing deadline, you can request an automatic six-month tax extension. The request must be made by April 15, though. And be warned: A tax extension only delays the deadline for filing your tax return—it doesn’t extend the due date for paying taxes you owe. So, if you do request an extension, estimate your tax liability for the year and send that amount to the IRS.
April 15 is also the due date for filing Schedule H and paying related employment taxes if you paid cash wages of $2,600 or more in 2023 to a household employee (e.g., a maid, nanny, cook, gardener, private nurse, etc.). You must also file Schedule H by April 15 if you withheld federal income taxes in 2023 for any household employee or paid total cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter of 2022 or 2023 to all household employees. If you file your tax return by that date, just attach Schedule H to your federal return. Otherwise, file it by itself.
The first payment of estimated taxes for the 2024 tax year is also due on April 15.
April 15 is the last day to contribute to an individual retirement account or health savings account for the 2023 tax year. If you don’t request a filing extension, it’s also the deadline to contribute to a solo 401(k) plan or simplified employee pension (SEP) plan. In addition, if you put too much money in an IRA for 2023, April 15 is the last day to withdraw the excess funds before incurring a penalty, unless you requested an extension.
Finally, all the April 15 due dates listed above, except for the estimated tax payment deadline, are extended to April 17 for residents of Maine and Massachusetts. The extra two days stem from the celebration of Patriots’ Day in Maine and Massachusetts and Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C.
May 2024 Tax Deadlines
There’s only one scheduled tax filing deadline in May—reporting tips received in April to your employer by May 10.
June 2024 Tax Deadlines
For June, the tip reporting due date is June 10. It’s for tips of $20 or more received in May.
Estimated tax payments are due again in June. The second payment for 2024 must be submitted by June 17.
The deadline for filing taxes and paying income tax is June 17 for members of the military on duty outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The same is true for U.S. citizens and resident aliens living and working abroad. Those who can’t file an income tax return by that date may request a four-month filing extension by June 17; however, their estimated tax liability must be paid with the request.
In addition, victims of the severe storms and tornadoes in Tennessee that began on Dec. 9, 2023, have until June 17 to file returns and pay taxes that were originally due between Dec. 9, 2023, and June 16, 2024.
July 2024 Tax Deadlines
As the summer heats up, the tax calendar slows down. For July, the only due date is for reporting tips received in June to your employer. That deadline is on July 10.
August 2024 Tax Deadlines
Another sleepy month for tax filing deadlines. Tips of $20 or more received in July must be reported to your employer by Aug. 12. That’s it.
September 2024 Tax Deadlines
Things pick up slightly in September. First up is the monthly tip reporting due date, which is Sept. 10 (for tips received in August).
There’s also the third payment of estimated taxes for 2024, which is due on Sept. 16.
October 2024 Tax Deadlines
First, victims of the terrorist attacks in Israel that began on Oct. 7, 2023, have until Oct. 7 to file returns and pay taxes that were originally due between Oct. 7, 2023, and Oct. 6, 2024.
You must also report any tips of $20 or more received in September to your employer by Oct. 10.
In addition, the tax filing deadline for income tax returns is pushed to Oct. 15 if you requested a tax extension earlier in the year.
The due dates for contributing to a solo 401(k) or SEP plan, and for withdrawing an excess IRA contribution for the 2023 tax year, are also on Oct. 15 for people who requested a tax extension.
November 2024 Tax Deadlines
In November, the only tax filing deadline is for tip reporting to your employer. The due date is Nov. 12, and it’s for tips received in October.
December 2024 Tax Deadlines
The end of the year brings a few more tax due dates to consider. Of course, there’s the monthly tip reporting requirement on Dec. 10 (for tips received in November).
In addition, if you turn 74 or older this year, you must take any required minimum distribution from your retirement accounts by Dec. 31. (If you turn 73 this year, your first RMD won’t be due until April 1, 2025.)
And last but not least, you have until Dec. 31 to contribute to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), 403(b), 457, or federal thrift savings plan, for the 2024 tax year.
What If a Tax Due Date Falls on a Weekend or Holiday?
Hopefully, at this point, all your “when are taxes due” questions have been answered. But you still might have other general questions about the tax calendar and when to file taxes. For instance, you might be wondering what happens if a due date falls on a weekend or holiday.
Generally, tax due dates that fall on a weekend or legal holiday are pushed back to the next day that isn’t a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday. Any holiday in the District of Columbia counts as “legal holiday” for federal tax due dates.
State holidays generally delay a federal filing due date only if the IRS office where taxpayers are required to file is located in that state. Statewide holidays can also delay tax filing deadlines for residents of that state.
The deadlines given earlier have been adjusted for weekend or holiday delays.
Penalties for Failure to Act on Time
If you don’t meet a tax filing deadline, the IRS can hit you with some hefty penalties. For instance, the penalty for failing to file a federal return is 5% of any unpaid tax per month (up to 25% of the amount owed). If you’re over 60 days late, the minimum penalty is $485 (for returns required to be filed in 2024) or 100% of the tax owed, whichever is less.
If you owe taxes but don’t pay the entire balance on time, you could also be hit with a late payment penalty of 0.5% of your existing tax liability for each month the tax remains unpaid (again, the penalty won’t exceed 25% of your unpaid taxes). If you don’t pay up within 10 days of getting a levy notice from the IRS, the penalty jumps to 1% per month.
Other penalties might apply as well—not to mention interest payments on any unpaid tax bill.
Due Date Delays for Victims of Natural Disasters
The IRS typically grants tax relief to victims of natural disasters. This relief includes delaying certain federal due dates for a period of time. Taxpayers must reside in or have a business in the federally declared disaster area to qualify for the relief.
Extended due dates in 2024 for victims of natural disasters are reflected in the monthly tax deadline descriptions presented earlier. More information about tax relief for victims of specific disasters is available on the IRS website.
What Tax Bracket Are You In?
Perhaps the best way to lower your federal income tax bill is push yourself down into a lower tax bracket to reduce your tax rate. On the flip side, you certainly want to avoid getting kicked into a higher bracket and increasing your tax rate.
But, of course, under either scenario you need to have a good feel for where you are right now. For that purpose, check out the federal tax brackets and rates that will apply for your next federal tax return.
Capital Gains Tax: What You Need to Know
Millions of Americans sell stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency, real estate, precious metals, and other types of investment property every year. However, if you sell investments during the year, you might owe capital gains tax on any profits.
The good news is that you’ll pay a lower tax rate on capital gains when compared to income taxes on wages, tips, and other “ordinary” income. On the other hand, there are a few landmines to avoid when you sell investment property. Get all the details with our guide to the capital gains tax.
IRA Contribution Limits for 2024
Saving for retirement is one of the primary goals of financial planning … and IRAs are one of the most important vehicles for achieving your retirement saving goals. However, you can only put so much in IRAs each year (and the amount is subject to change on an annual basis).
Want to know how much you can stuff in an IRA this year? Check out the current IRA contribution limits before you plan your retirement savings goals for the year.