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Tax time: April 18 is the last day to file 2021 tax returns or request an extension

Last day for 2021 IRA contributions
Tax Document
Posted at 7:36 AM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 07:44:58-04

BALTIMORE — Monday is crunch-time for last minute taxpayers preparing to file their taxes.

Tax Day is typically April 15th but because Friday was a holiday in D.C., taxpayers had a few extra days to file.

Procrastinators will be in front of their laptops Monday working on their tax returns. The IRS encourages taxpayers to file electronically because tax software not only does all of the work for you but it can also help spot mistakes.

Filing electronically and using direct deposit is the fastest way to get a refund.

Anyone who hasn’t started to work on preparing their tax returns for 2021 is not alone.

The IRS estimates 15 million taxpayers will ask for more time to file their returns.

Anyone can request a six-month extension which will give you until October 17th to file.

Taxpayers can request an extension on the IRS.gov website using Form 4868.

However, the IRS advises an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.

Taxpayers will have to estimate their tax liability on the extension request form and pay any amount due by the April 18 filing deadline, otherwise the IRS will tack on penalties and interest.

Taxpayers also can ask for more time by paying some or all of their estimated income tax due, and notating that the payment is for an extension. Also, taxpayers who do pay a portion and pay electronically won't have to file a separate extension form as they will get a confirmation number for their records.

Monday, April 18 also is the last day to make any contributions to an IRA that taxpayers want counted for 2021.

Those contributions can be made to either a traditional or Roth IRA. Filers should be sure to designate that the contribution is for 2021 and not 2022, when they make their contribution with their financial institution.

Anyone who owes money to the IRS but can't pay right now shouldn’t panic.

Internal Revenue Service spokesperson Alejandra Castro said "if a taxpayer’s financial situation is very, very complicated at this time, they don't have money to pay this, they should definitely contact the IRS and arrange for a payment plan so they can pay in installments."

Forbes tax analyst Kemberley Washington said "you can do that a couple of different ways. Of course, you can pick up the phone and contact them, but we know contacting the IRS could be very challenging at this time. So, another thing that you can do is actually create an online account and create your own payment arrangement."

The IRS is experiencing a major backlog because of budget constraints and staffing shortages.

Anyone getting a refund and who wants it fast should avoid the post office and file electronically.

Today is also the last day for any procrastinators who still haven't filed a 2018 tax return.

The IRS estimates there are 1.5 million taxpayers who never filed their 2018 tax returns to claim refunds worth more than $1.5 billion. Any of those taxpayers who don't file their 2018 returns by April 18 will lose their refunds as their money then becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.