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Taxes Due Today: Last Chance to File Your Tax Return or Tax Extension on Time

It's tax deadline day, and tax returns filed after will be considered late. Get the details and tips for quick filing.

A clock, a calculator, a keyboard and a note that says TAX TIME!
The time to file your 2021 tax return or a tax extension has nearly expired.
Getty Images

This story is part of Taxes 2022, CNET's coverage of the best tax software and everything else you need to get your return filed quickly, accurately and on-time.

Monday is your final opportunity to complete and file your 2021 tax return on time (excepting residents of Massachusetts or Maine, who get one extra day). Midnight -- in your local time zone -- marks the deadline for electronically filing or postmarking a tax return.

If you can't complete and file your tax return by Monday, you'll want to file a tax extension, particularly if you owe. The IRS could charge a 5% failure to file penalty, plus additional interest and fines on top of that. Free tax software like Cash App Taxes can help you file an extension as well as finish your return. If you are expecting a refund, there's no penalty for filing late.

Most state income tax returns are also due on April 18, although a handful of states have different deadlines. And, of course, some states don't require you to file income taxes at all.

Here are all the important dates for the 2022 tax season -- including when state taxes are due, the deadline for extensions and when you should expect a tax refund -- plus tips for a smooth and speedy filing experience. 

For more, find the best tax software for 2022, the biggest tax changes this year and the most important deductions and credits for this tax season.

What's the deadline for filing your federal tax return?

  • The deadline for filing federal taxes this year for most taxpayers is Monday, April 18
  • Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts, however, have until April 19 because of the observance of Patriots' Day in those states.
  • The IRS has also announced extended federal tax filing deadlines for victims of winter storms in parts of Tennessee, Illinois and Kentucky, and victims of wildfires in Colorado. An extended May 16 deadline is limited to affected counties, which can be found on the IRS' page on tax relief in disaster situations
  • In addition, if you're serving in the military abroad, including in a combat zone or as part of a contingency operation in support of the US Armed Forces, you may be granted additional time to file your return.

When are state taxes due?

Of the 43 states that levy income tax, most are following this year's federal April 18 deadline, though there are some exceptions below.

State

Filing Due Date

Delaware

May 2, 2022

Hawaii

April 20, 2022

Iowa

May 2, 2022

Louisiana

May 16, 2022

Maine

April 19, 2022

Maryland

July 15, 2022

Massachusetts

April 19, 2022

Nebraska

April 15, 2022

Oklahoma

April 20, 2022 (if filing electronically)

Virginia

May 1, 2022

Note: New Hampshire doesn't tax earned income but it does tax investment income and dividends, so residents may still need to file a state return. (Tennessee, which also only taxes investment income, adheres to the April 18 deadline).

Check with your state department of revenue for the most current information and deadlines.  

What's the deadline for filing an extension?

You still have to submit your request for an extension by April 18 (or April 19, if you live in Maine or Massachusetts). But you will have until Oct. 17, 2022, to file a completed 2021 tax return. 

Keep in mind that filing an extension doesn't push back when you need to pay the IRS: To avoid late penalties, you still need to submit an estimate of what you owe. An extension just gives you more time to complete your return.

Some cash and coins on an American flag

Your state may have a different tax deadline than the IRS does.

Sarah Tew/CNET

When can I expect my refund?

If you file electronically and choose direct deposit, the IRS says you can expect your refund within 21 days, assuming there are no problems with your return.

The IRS has already processed more than 70 million returns for fiscal 2021 and issued nearly 52 million refunds. But the agency has also warned about delays in processing returns, especially as the 2022 tax season involved complications like stimulus payments and an expanded child tax credit.

"The pandemic continues to create challenges, but the IRS reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax return and refund don't face processing delays," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

A piggy bank on a pile of money

Experts agree direct deposit is the fastest way to get your refund from the IRS.

Sarah Tew/CNET

What happens if I miss the tax deadline?

If you're owed a refund, there is no penalty for filing federal taxes late, though it may be different for your state taxes. Still, it's best to e-file or postmark your individual tax return as early as possible. 

If you owe the IRS money, however, penalties and interest start to accrue on any remaining unpaid taxes after the filing deadline. The late filing penalty is 5% of the taxes due for each month your return is behind, with fees increasing to up to 25% of your due balance after 60 days have passed.

You may also incur a late-payment penalty, which is 0.5% of the taxes due for each month your return is late, with penalties increasing to up to 25% of your unpaid tax, depending on how long you take to file. 

How do I check the status of my refund?

The IRS website features a handy web-based tool that lets you check the status of your refund (electronic or paper). There's also a mobile app, IRS2Go.

You can usually access your refund status about 24 hours after e-filing or four weeks after mailing in a return. To check your status, you'll need to provide your Social Security number or ITIN, your filing status and the exact amount of your refund. If your status is "received," the IRS has your return and is processing it. "Approved" means your refund is on its way.