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03
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

How to get your taxes in order quickly

Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool
Published 5:00 a.m. CT Oct. 3, 2020

Many Americans were thrown for a financial loop this year when the coronavirus pandemic hit back in March. Thankfully, the IRS recognized the need to give filers more time to submit their taxes, and so the agency pushed back the normal April 15 filing deadline to July 15, giving taxpayers an extra three months to get their returns in.

If you didn’t manage to complete your tax return by July 15, you may have requested an extension. Normally, a tax extension gives you six months from the filing deadline to submit your return, during which time you’ll still incur interest and late payment penalties on any unpaid tax debt you have from the previous year, but you’ll avoid the costly failure-to-file penalty that applies if you miss the deadline without asking the IRS for more time.

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Now because the 2019 tax-filing deadline was moved back to July 15, you might assume that if you got an extension, you have until January 15 to get that return completed. But actually, that six-month period dates back to the original April 15 filing deadline, which means that if you received an extension but haven’t yet gotten your return done, you only have another 12 days to knock it out.

How to get your taxes in order quickly

There’s no penalty for being late with a tax return if the IRS owes you money. But if you underpaid your taxes in 2019, the longer it takes you to file