IRS Tax Deadlines, April 15 and October 15

These two videos - a short and long version - explain the important nuances of the April and October deadlines. Do you need to file by April 15 if you are owed a refund? What is the second IRS tax deadline in October? Do I need to file a tax extension? Let's find out.

Tax Deadline Videos

The videos below highlight the key points of each tax deadline. Select the first video for a shorter, high-level overview on April 15 and October 15 or watch the long video for further details, examples, and explanations.

1. Short and high level tax deadline video:

Short, high level tax deadline video

2. Long and detailed tax deadline video:

Long,detailed tax deadline video

Tax Deadline and Taxes Due by April 15

The Tax Day April 15 deadline applies the most to those who owe taxes on their upcoming tax return. If you follow these recommendations, you will face the least amount of tax penalties.

  • If you owe taxes by the April 15 deadline, file a return or extension even if you do not have the funds to pay your taxes.
    • Pay as little or as much as you can afford directly to the IRS and state online - learn how to pay taxes.
  • Filing your taxes and paying for them can be completed in two steps. Pay based on your budget after the IRS or state accepted your returns online via the IRS or state sites.
  • If you filed an extension by April 15 and then file a return by October 15; this will eliminate the late filing penalty, but the late payment penalty may still be applied. See details on tax penalties.

No Taxes Due or a Tax Refund by April 15

If you do not owe taxes or you are owed a tax refund, then the April 15 deadline is not crucial for you and you can e-file your return until the following October 15 with no penalty. This is only if you are certain that you do not owe taxes and/or are owed a refund.

  • You will not face tax penalties if you do not owe taxes or expect a tax refund and do not file by April or October 15.
    • However, you lose the ability to e-file or file online after the October 15 deadline.
  • You have 3 years from the deadline to file a return and to claim your tax refund. After 3 years, that refund expired and can no longer be claimed. Each year, over $1 billion refunds go unclaimed - don't become a part of this statistic!

You can e-file your return on whether you owe taxes or are owed money back. Start free and eFile will up or downgrade you based on your entries. When finished, select direct deposit for your refund for the quickest method or choose an option for your taxes owed. You can always file even if you do not have the money up front to pay.