Curtain is Set to Come Down on 2020 Tax Season

Taxpayers who filed an extension are reminded that the deadline to file their 2019 taxes is looming. Oct. 15 is the deadline to file those tax returns.

Those who still owe tax due are urged to pay as soon as possible to reduce any penalties and interest.

The Internal Revenue Service says taxpayers and tax pros alike should continue to use electronic options to support social distancing and speed processing of tax returns, refunds and tax payments.

Some taxpayers have more time.

While Oct. 15 is the deadline to file, some taxpayers actually have still more time to file, including:

  • Members of the military and others serving in a combat zone. They typically have 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file returns and pay any taxes due.
  • Taxpayers in federally declared disaster areas who already had valid extensions. For details, see the disaster relief page on

Choose the direct route for refunds.

The quickest and safest way for taxpayers to get their refunds is to have them deposited electronically into their banks or other financial accounts. Taxpayers can use direct deposit to deposit their refund into one, two or even three accounts. Direct deposit is much faster than waiting for a paper check to arrive in the mail.

Once they’ve filed, taxpayers should use the Where’s My Refund? tool on or download the IRS2Go mobile app to track the status of a refund.

Owe federal taxes? Pay electronically.

Taxpayers can make federal tax payments online, by phone or with their mobile device and the IRS2Go app. When paying federal taxes electronically, taxpayers should remember:

  • Electronic payment options are the optimal way to make a tax payment.
  • They can pay when they file electronically using tax software online. If using a tax preparer, taxpayers should ask the preparer to make the tax payment through an electronic funds withdrawal from a bank account.
  • IRS Direct Pay allows taxpayers to pay online directly from a checking or savings account for free, and to schedule payments up to 365 days in advance.
  • Taxpayers can choose to pay with a credit card, debit card or digital wallet option through a payment processor. No fees go to the IRS.
  • The IRS2Go app provides the mobile-friendly payment options, including Direct Pay and Card Payment Providers on mobile devices.
  • Taxpayers may also enroll in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System and have a choice of paying online or by phone by using the EFTPS Voice Response System.
  • Taxpayers can go to gov/account to securely access information about their federal tax account. They can view the amount they owe, access their tax records online, review their payment history and view key tax return information for the most recent tax return as originally filed.

Several payment options are available on to help taxpayers who can’t pay their tax bill in full. Some of those options can offer smaller penalties.

Taxpayers should know:

  • Though interest and late-payment penalties continue to accrue on any unpaid taxes after the original July 15 due date, the failure to pay tax penalty rate is cut in half while an installment agreement is in effect.
  • The usual penalty rate of 0.5% per month is reduced to 0.25% per month. For the calendar quarter beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the interest rate for underpayment is 3%.

Got questions? Answers to many taxpayer questions can be found using the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA), a tax law resource that uses a series of questions and responses. More answers can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions on 

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