12 Deadlines to Know for Your Next Tax Return

a couple prepares for tax season
Photo by adriaticfoto / Shutterstock.com

Uncle Sam gave us three extra months to file and pay our 2019 taxes, pushing Tax Day back to July 15, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But now that we’re more than halfway through the 2020 tax year, we also have a new set of federal income tax deadlines to worry about.

Following is a heads-up on deadlines for the 2020 tax year — the one for which your return is due by April 2021. Mark the deadlines that apply to you on your calendar now so you don’t forget later.

If you have yet to file your 2019 return, however, you should also check out “8 Tax Deadlines for Your July Calendar.”

July 15, 2020

This is the deadline to:

  • Pay the first installment of 2020 estimated taxes. This deadline, which the IRS bumped back from April 15, applies to the self-employed, who use Form 1040-ES to pay this tax.
  • Pay the second installment of 2020 estimated taxes. This deadline, which the IRS recently bumped back from June 15, applies to the self-employed, who use Form 1040-ES to pay this tax.

Sept. 15, 2020

This is the deadline to:

  • Pay the third installment of 2020 estimated taxes. This deadline applies to the self-employed, who use Form 1040-ES to pay this tax.

Dec. 31, 2020

This is the deadline to:

  • Make 2020 tax-deductible charitable donations. Note that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, allows taxpayers to write off up to $300 in monetary donations on their 2020 returns, even if they do not itemize their deductions.
  • Make 2020 contributions to most employer-sponsored retirement accounts. These include 401(k) accounts.
  • Spend money in health flexible spending accounts. This deadline generally applies if the 2020 health insurance plan year ends Dec. 31. Employers are allowed — but not required — to offer a limited extension.
  • Take 2020 required minimum distributions (RMDs) if you were 72 or older going into 2020, or if you turned 70 before July 1, 2019 — assuming you wish to take an RMD for 2020. The CARES Act waived RMDs for 2020, so this deadline is optional for 2020.

Jan. 15, 2021

This is the deadline to:

  • Pay the fourth installment of 2020 estimated taxes. This deadline applies to the self-employed, who use Form 1040-ES to pay this tax.

April 1, 2021

This is the deadline to:

April 15, 2021

While the IRS has yet to announce the official date for Tax Day 2021, it’s safe to assume it will fall on Thursday, April 15. That would mean this is also the deadline to:

  • Make 2020 contributions to individual retirement accounts (IRAs). For the contribution limits, see “These Retirement Account Limits Just Increased.”
  • Make 2020 contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs). For contribution limits, see “Limits for This Tax-Free Account Will Increase in 2021.”
  • Request an automatic extension for your 2020 income tax return. Use Form 4868 to request this extension if you can’t file your return on time. Also, note that the extension applies only to filing: You still must pay any taxes you owe by Tax Day to avoid interest charges or penalties.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
6 Investing Tools That Help You Diversify
6 Investing Tools That Help You Diversify

Here’s how you can lend to startup businesses, fund social causes or get in on investments once available only to the very rich.

These 5 Laptops Have the Best Battery Life
These 5 Laptops Have the Best Battery Life

Need a laptop that runs as long as you do? Check out these models.

9 Affordable Products That Could Save Your Life
9 Affordable Products That Could Save Your Life

Some of these products you may already own. Others you’ll want to order from Amazon ASAP.

8 Things I Always Buy at Target
8 Things I Always Buy at Target

I grew up shopping at the original Target store and am a lifelong fan. Here are my favorite purchases.

7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon
7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon

Use these websites and other tools to save money — or earn extra cash — when shopping at Amazon.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on these familiar purchases. Yes, even pregnancy tests.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price
9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price

If you’re willing to pay a little more for these products, you may never have to shop for another again.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

Is a Second Stimulus Check Still Coming?
Is a Second Stimulus Check Still Coming?

The status of another round of direct payments to taxpayers is a mix of good and bad news.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.