April 15 is the Super Bowl of taxes, a date the very mention of which can always be depended upon to raise the resting heart rate of any American accountant or post office employee. It’s the official due date for individuals to file their tax returns as well as pay any taxes due for the year. (Tax returns must either be postmarked or e-filed by tax day.)
There may be exceptions to this deadline — tax day may get pushed back a few days if it falls on a weekend or a holiday (in 2017, a banner year for tax prep laggards, tax day got pushed back to Tuesday April 18, because Emancipation Day fell on Monday, April 17.) For many people, however, April 15 is not the only tax deadline to be inputted into the calendar. Since they don’t have employers who withhold federal and state taxes, freelancers and other gig economy folks are required to file quarterly taxes on or just after the 15th of April, June, September and January. (State filing deadlines may be slightly different.) Our procrastinating friends can be depended upon year after year to file form 4868 or go to the IRS’s website to receive a six-month filing extension. It’s totally legal, but there’s no putting off the extension request — it must be made by April’s tax day, and any taxes due must be paid that day or the IRS will assess interest and possible penalties.
For those among you who don’t feel like counting with your fingers, six months from April 15 is October 15.