2023 tax deadlines: When you need to file

Tax forms
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The IRS’s tax deadline schedule for 2023 is largely back to normal, aside from some extensions for residents of disaster areas in certain states. You don’t want to miss the deadline, since doing so can have significant consequences. 

Below are all the deadlines you need to know for when to file your taxes, as well as how to file an extension on your tax return.

What is the deadline for filing taxes?

Tax deadlines at a glance

Tax deadline: April 18, 2023
Overseas deadline: May 15, 2023
Active military outside U.S.: June 18, 2023
Six-month extension: October 16, 2023

Tax time is back to its regular mid-April timing for individual returns. You have until April 18 to file a 2022 Tax Return (Form 1040) and pay the taxes due based on that form. If that day sounds familiar, that’s because it is — it’s the same date as last year.

If you’re living overseas, or you’re in a disaster area in Alabama, California, Georgia and New York, you have until May 15, 2023 to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. If you live and work abroad – including active military on duty outside the U.S. – you get an automatic two-month extension on your taxes, to June 18. But if you owe taxes, you need to pay by April 18 to avoid paying interest.  

Dealing with your taxes can seem daunting, but many digital tools can ease that pain. We’ve reviewed the best tax software to help you choose which online tax service fits your needs. Such services can guide you through the complexities of everything from property ownership to side-hustle businesses and cryptocurrency investments. 

Our top picks in this space remain Intuit TurboTax Deluxe and H&R Block Deluxe. Each of these services continue to innovate and provide the best guided experiences that make it less imposing to complete a 1040 and related tax forms. Both also provide online assistance options, including support from a tax pro (either an Enrolled Agent, CPA, or tax lawyer). TaxAct, TaxSlayer and FreeTaxUSA all have some degree of professional assistance available, but with noticeably less hand-holding and than with TurboTax and H&R Block.

And if having an expert on hand isn’t enough, TurboTax Live Full Service pairs you with a tax pro who’ll do your taxes for you, in real time with you on the line. 

Another option for digitally completing your taxes is to use the IRS Free File service. The IRS provides both Guided Tax Preparation (for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $73,000) and Free Fillable forms (for use by anyone).

How to file a tax extension

It happens, and it’s okay to file for an extension to the filing deadline. April 18 is also the deadline for filing a Form 4868 to request a six-month extension on filing your tax return, to October 16. Note that the extension does not mean you get an extension on paying your taxes. If you owe money, you’ll want to attend to that to avoid getting hit with penalties or interest fees. (The extension deadline for expatriates and active military on duty outside the U.S. is June 15). 

You have several options for a tax file extension. Most online tax software services let you file an extension while logged into the service. H&R Block costs $10 to file an extension electronically (a down-payment towards completing your taxes with H&R Block by the Oct 16 deadline). FreeTaxUSA, TaxAct, TaxSlayer, and TurboTax all let you file an extension for free from within the service. 

Or, you can turn to the IRS’s free page for filing a tax extension. The service for an extension is the same as it is for filing your taxes online, with guided forms or third-party partner sites.

Other April tax deadlines

April is chock-a-block full of tax milestones, and many of them are on April 18. That is the deadline to file for a number of related 2022 expenses and contributions. The IRS provides a handy at-a-glance view with its Tax Calendar, which includes monthly deadlines throughout the tax year.

If you employ household worker employees such as a nanny, home health aide, maid or gardener, you need to file a Schedule H on April 18. 

If you’re self-employed and want to contribute to Solo 401(k) Plan or Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plans for 2022, the deadline is April 18 (if Form 1040 was not extended). 

If you want to contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) for 2022, April 18 is the deadline, unless you file for an extension.

When will I get my tax refund?

The answer to this question is, it depends on when and how you file your tax return. The IRS continues to have some processing delays. But taxpayers generally don’t need to wait for their 2020 return to be fully processed to file a 2022 return this year. 

The fastest way to get your refund is to electronically file an accurate return and choose direct deposit for the refund. Errors or incomplete information will delay your refund, as can incorrect documentation of the advanced Child Tax Credit payments. The IRS’s Where’s My Refund? tool gets updated daily, and shows details on your return’s refund status for a tax year 2022 return 24 hours after e-filing. The IRS says most taxpayers should get their refund within 21 days of filing. 

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Melissa Perenson is a freelance writer. She has reviewed the best tax software for Tom's Guide for several years, and has also tested out fax software, among other things. She spent more than a decade at PC World and TechHive, and she has freelanced for numerous publications including Computer Shopper, TechRadar and Consumers Digest.