Have you filed yet? Federal income tax deadline is April 18

The filing deadline to submit 2021 tax returns, or an extension to file and pay tax owed, is Monday, for most taxpayers, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

The due date this year is April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia. DC Emancipation Day commemorates the April 16, 1862, passage of the Compensated Emancipation Act, which ended slavery in the District.

By law, Washington, D.C. holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone the same as federal holidays, according to the IRS. Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts have an April 19 filing deadline because of the Patriots’ Day holiday in those states.

Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, to file.

“The IRS encourages everyone to have all the information they need in hand to make sure they file a complete and accurate return,” the IRS says. “Having an accurate tax return can avoid processing delays, refund delays and later IRS notices.”

People who received advance Child Tax Credit payments or Economic Impact Payments (American Rescue Plan stimulus payments) in 2021 will need those payment amounts when preparing their tax return, according to the IRS.

Key dates left in the income tax filing season, according to the IRS, include:

  • April 18: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension and pay tax owed due to Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., even for those who live outside the area.
  • October 17: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2021 tax returns.

Like last year, there will be individuals filing tax returns who, even though they are not required to file, need to file a 2021 return to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit to receive the tax credit from the 2021 stimulus payments or reconcile advance payments of the Child Tax Credit. People who don’t normally file also could receive other credits.

“Last filing season, as a result of COVID-era tax changes and broader pandemic challenges, the IRS phone systems received more than 145 million calls from January 1 – May 17, more than four times more calls than in an average year,” the IRS said.

The IRS encourages people to use online resources.

“Our phone volumes continue to remain at record-setting levels,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a news release. “We urge people to check IRS.gov and establish an online account to help them access information more quickly. We have invested in developing new online capacities to make this a quick and easy way for taxpayers to get the information they need.”

Last year’s average tax refund was more than $2,800, according to the IRS. More than 160 million individual tax returns for the 2021 tax year are expected to be filed, with the vast majority of those coming prior to the traditional April tax deadline.

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