IR-2022-63, March 22, 2022
WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers who have a tax bill that there are several ways to make payments, and there are options for many people who can't pay their tax bill in full by April tax deadline.
The deadline to submit 2021 tax returns or an extension to file and pay tax owed this year falls on April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19, 2022, to file their returns due to the Patriots' Day holiday in those states. Some taxpayers who were victims of a natural disaster have even longer to file their returns.
The IRS reminds people to timely file their tax return and pay whatever they can by the filing deadline to avoid late filing and interest penalties.
Taxpayers can use their Online Account to securely see important information when preparing to file their tax return or following up on balances or notices. Taxpayers can make a same-day payment for a 2021 tax return balance, an extension to file, or estimated taxes, which are all due by April deadline for most taxpayers. They can also view:
The most important thing everyone with a tax bill should do is file a return by the April 18 due date, for most taxpayers (even if they can't pay in full). Taxpayers may also request a six-month extension to file by October 17, 2022, to avoid penalties and interest for failing to file on time.
Though automatic tax-filing extensions are available to anyone who wants one, these extensions don't change the payment deadline. It is not an extension to pay. Visit IRS.gov/extensions for details.
Usually anyone who owes tax and waits until after that date to file will be charged a late-filing penalty of 5% per month. So, if a tax return is complete, filing it by April 18 is always less costly, even if the full amount due can't be paid on time.
IRS Free File is an easy, quick way to file that is available to eligible individuals and families who earned $73,000 or less in 2021. IRS Free File is available on IRS.gov.
Interest, plus the late-payment penalty, will apply to any payments made after April 18. Making a payment, even a partial payment, will help limit penalty and interest charges. The fastest and easiest way to pay a personal tax bill is with Direct Pay, available only on IRS.gov. For a rundown of other payment options, visit IRS.gov/payments.
The IRS urges taxpayers to first consider other options for payment, including getting a loan to pay the amount due. In many cases, loan costs may be lower than the combination of interest and penalties the IRS must charge under federal law. Normally, the late-payment penalty is one-half-of-one percent (0.5%) per month. The interest rate, adjusted quarterly, is currently 3% per year, compounded daily.
If a loan isn't possible, the IRS can often help.
Most individual taxpayers qualify to set up an online payment plan with the IRS, and it only takes a few minutes to apply. Applicants are notified immediately if their request is approved. No need to call or write to the IRS. The IRS notes that online payment plans are processed more quickly than requests submitted with electronically-filed tax returns. If a taxpayer just filed their return and knows that they'll owe a balance, they may be able to set up a payment plan online before they even receive a notice or bill.
Taxpayers who do not qualify for an online payment agreement may still be able to arrange to pay in installments. See Additional Information on Payment Plans for more information.
Some struggling taxpayers may also consider using these other payment options:
If the IRS determines a taxpayer is unable to pay, it may delay collection until their financial condition improves. However, the total amount owed will still increase because penalties and interest are charged until paid in full. Taxpayers can request a delay by calling the phone number on their notice or 800-829-1040.
Some taxpayers qualify to have their late-filing or late-payment penalties reduced or eliminated. This can be done on a case-by-case basis, based on reasonable cause. Alternatively, where a taxpayer has a history of compliance, the IRS can typically provide relief under the First Time Abatement program. Visit IRS.gov/penaltyrelief for details.
Some taxpayers qualify to settle their tax bill for less than the full amount due, through an offer in compromise. Though there is typically a $205 non-refundable application fee, it is generally waived for low-income taxpayers and for offers based on doubt as to liability. The Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool can help determine eligibility for anyone interested in applying.
For more information about payments, see Topic No. 202, Tax Payment Options, on IRS.gov.
Taxpayers should know before they owe. The IRS encourages all taxpayers to check their withholding with the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator.