TAX Deadline is JULY 15

Millions of taxpayers are taking advantage of the IRS decision to push back the tax filing deadline due to the coronavirus pandemic. But with the new tax filing deadline of July 15 just days away, those taxpayers need to take some important steps now to get their returns — and payments — to the IRS before then.

Tax season is stressful for many consumers in the best of times, but 2020 has heightened those anxieties. Stay-at-home orders that stretched across the U.S. beginning in March made it more difficult to make in-person visits to tax preparers, while other taxpayers may be struggling with a number of life stressors, including lost income or dealing with COVID-19 illnesses in their families.

About 7.6 million fewer returns have been filed with the IRS as of mid-June compared with a year earlier, says Craig Richards, director of tax services at Fiduciary Trust International, citing IRS statistics. Tax preparers were “stymied because of working from home and not being able to access all of the resources they had while in their offices,” he notes.

Taxpayers need to take action before July 15 to avoid penalties from the IRS.

If you realize you won’t be ready to file by July 15, you have the option of filing an extension, which will provide an additional three months to file your tax return.

But there’s a catch: Even though an extension gives you until Oct. 15 to file, you’ll still have to pay any owed taxes by July 15.

If you fail to pay the IRS by July 15, even if you filed an extension, you’ll face penalties