Review of Tax Return Due Date Including Extensions

The Federal Income Tax Return

The filing deadline for 2018 individual federal income tax return is April 15, 2020.  Taxpayers may request an automatic six-month extension by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, by April 15, 2020. The extended due date is October 15, 2020. However, an extension of time to file is not the extension of time to pay.

If the tax return is not filed by the original due date or by the extended due date (assuming an extension request is timely filed), he will be subject to a late filing penalty of 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month (or part of a month).  The maximum total penalty for filing late will not exceed 25% of unpaid taxes.  If the return is filing late more than 60 days beyond the due date (or extended due date), the penalty will be the lesser of $215 or 100% of the unpaid tax for returns due on or after 1/1/20.

Serving in a Combat Zone

For taxpayers serving in a combat zone or a contingency operation in support of the Armed Forces, the due date is extended for 180 days after the later of the following two days:

  • The last day he is in a combat zone, has qualifying service outside of the combat zone, or serves in a contingency operation.

  • The last day of any continuous qualified hospitalization for injury from service in the combat zone or contingency operation or while performing qualifying service outside of the combat zone. 

Individuals Living Outside of the United States

A taxpayer who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien living abroad or traveling outside of the United States may receive an extra two-month extension to file his tax return and pay any tax due if he qualifies. For 2019, the extra automatic two-month extension gives him a due date to file his tax return on June 15, 2020.  If he still cannot file his tax return by that date, he can get an additional 4-month extension by filing Form 4868 no later than June 15, 2020.


Cathy Fisher

Common Cents Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation

Serving Henderson, NC, Buncombe County, Polk County, Transylvania County


P: 828-595-2835

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