2022 tax deadlines: When you need to file

Tax forms
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The IRS’s tax deadline schedule for 2022 returns to some semblance of normalcy after two years of disrupted schedules and adjusted deadlines. Missing the deadline can have dire consequences, so you want to be sure to get on track and stay on track with when you need to file your taxes. 

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?

The traditional mid-April tax deadline for individuals returns after its COVID-19 hiatus. This year, you have until April 18 to file a 2021 Tax Return (Form 1040) and pay the taxes due based on that form (residents of Maine and Massachusetts have until April 19 since those states observe the Patriot’s Day holiday on April 18). If you live and work abroad – including active military on duty outside the U.S. – the deadline to file a 2021 return is June 15.

Dealing with your taxes can seem daunting, but many digital tools can ease that pain. We’ve reviewed the best tax software for 2022 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 are Intuit TurboTax Deluxe and H&R Block Deluxe. Both provide strong guided experiences that make completing a 1040 and related tax forms a smooth experience. Both also provide online assistance options, including support from a tax pro (either an Enrolled Agent, CPA, or tax lawyer). TaxAct and TaxSlayer also have some degree of professional assistance available, but with less hand-holding than with TurboTax and H&R Block.

If you need help navigating your taxes, TurboTax Live Full Service lets you engage a tax expert to input all of your data and complete your taxes for you.

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. 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 let you file an extension while logged into the service. H&R Block starts at $10 to file an extension electronically, while FreeTaxUSA, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer let you file an extension for free from within the service. 

Intuit TurboTax makes no mention of extensions inside the service, but a simple search reveals the company’s dedicated site (opens in new tab) for free filing an extension. You’ll need an Intuit account to do so.

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 2021 expenses and contributions. 

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 2021, the deadline is April 18 (iif Form 1040 was not extended). 

If you want to contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) for 2021, April 18 is the deadline.

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 said earlier this year that it is still processing some returns submitted in 2021. But taxpayers generally don’t need to wait for their 2020 return to be fully processed to file a 2021 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 says most taxpayers should get their funds within 21 days of filing. 

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.