2020 Tax Calendar: Important IRS Tax Due Dates and Deadlines

Rocky Mengle, Tax Editor

What does the IRS do if you miss a tax deadline? They hit you hard with penalties and interest. For instance, the standard penalty for failing to file your annual tax return on time is 5% of the amount due for each month your return is late. If you pay your taxes late, the monthly penalty is 0.5% of the unpaid amount, up to 25% of what you owe, plus interest on the unpaid taxes. Similar penalties apply for missing other deadlines. And there could also be other negative consequences for being late, like losing out on a valuable tax break.

SEE ALSO: 20 IRS Audit Red Flags

It's easy to avoid these headaches, though--just don't miss the deadline! But we realize that it's not always easy keeping track of all the various IRS due dates. So, for those of you who need help remembering when to file a return, submit a report or pay a tax, we pulled together a list of the most important 2020 federal income tax due dates for individuals. You can also add any due date to your Outlook or Google calendar by clicking on the "Calendar" link in the tables below. (A calendar file will be downloaded for Outlook. If you don't have Outlook, you can import the file into Google Calendar from your Downloads folder).

There's at least one deadline in every month of the year, so play close attention...we don't want you to get in trouble with the IRS.

January 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
January 10 Tips for December 2019 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar
January 15 Estimated Tax Payment for 4th Quarter of 2019 (Form 1040-ES) Calendar
January 15 Farmers and Fishermen Pay Estimated Tax for 2019 (Form 1040-ES) Calendar
January 31 File 2019 Tax Return (Form 1040) to Avoid Penalty if Last Installment of Estimated Tax Not Paid by January 15 Calendar

We start off the year with four important due dates in January. First, employees who received at least $20 in tips during December 2019 must report those tips to their employer by January 10. (This is a monthly requirement for workers who collect tips.)

The other three January deadlines involve estimated tax payments. January 15 is the last day for most people to pay estimated taxes for the 4th quarter of 2019. However, you don't have to make a payment by that date if you file your 2019 tax return by January 31 and pay the entire balance due with your return. Farmers and fishermen can make a single payment of 2019 estimated taxes (instead of making quarterly payments)--that payment is due January 15.

February 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
February 10 Tips for January 2020 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar
February 18 File Form W-4 to Reclaim Exemption from Withholding for 2020 Calendar

The monthly tip reporting deadline is February 10. This time it's for tips received in January.

In addition, if you were exempt from income tax withholding in 2019 and want to reclaim the exemption for 2020, you need to fill out a new W-4 form and give it to your employer. (Note that you must qualify to claim an exemption.)

March 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
March 2 Farmers and Fishermen File 2019 Tax Return (Form 1040) to Avoid Penalty if Estimated Tax Not Paid by January 15 Calendar
March 10 Tips for February 2020 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar

To avoid a penalty, farmers and fishermen who didn't pay all of their 2019 estimated taxes by January 15 must file their 2019 tax return by March 2.

Employees must report February tips to their employer by March 10.

April 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
April 1 First Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) by Individuals Who Turned 70½ in 2019 Calendar
April 10 Tips for March 2020 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar
April 15 File 2019 Tax Return (Form 1040) and Pay Tax Due Calendar
April 15 File Form 4868 to Request 6-Month Income Tax Return Filing Extension (payment of tax not extended) Calendar
April 15 File Schedule H (1040) and Pay Employment Taxes for Household Employees (file separately if Form 1040 is not filed) Calendar
April 15 Estimated Tax Payment for 1st Quarter of 2020 (Form 1040-ES) Calendar
April 15 Contribute to Individual Retirement Account (IRA) for 2019 Calendar
April 15 Withdraw Excess IRA Contributions in 2019 to Avoid Penalty if Filing of Form 1040 Was Not Extended Calendar
April 15 Contribute to Health Savings Account (HSA) for 2019 Calendar
April 15 Contribute to Solo 401(k) Plan or Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) Plan for 2019 by Self-Employed if Filing of Form 1040 Was Not Extended Calendar

April is the most important month on the tax calendar. For most people, April 15 is the last day file a 2019 tax return...unless you file an application for an automatic six-month extension with the IRS, which is also due on April 15. If you employ a nanny, maid, gardener or other household worker, you also have until April 15 to file Schedule H and pay their employment taxes.

There are some special deadlines in April for retirees and anyone saving for retirement, too. If you turned 70½ in 2019, you must take your first required minimum distribution (RMD) from your traditional IRAs and 401(k) plans by April 1. (Starting in 2020, you don't have to take RMDs until you reach age 72, but that change doesn't apply if you turned 70½ in 2019.) April 15 is also the last day that you can contribute to an IRA or health savings account (HSA) for 2019. In addition, except for those who request an extension to file their 2019 tax return, April 15 is the due date for (1) self-employed people to contribute to a solo 401(k) or a simplified employee pension (SEP) plan for 2019, or (2) withdrawing excess IRA contributions made in 2019.

Finally, workers must report March tips to their employer by April 10, and estimated taxes for the 1st quarter of 2020 are due April 15.

May 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
May 11 Tips for April 2020 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar

After a busy April, things slow down considerable for May. The only notable deadline is for employees to report tips received in April to their boss. That's due by May 11.

June 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
June 10 Tips for May 2020 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar
June 15 Estimated Tax Payment for 2nd Quarter of 2020 (Form 1040-ES) Calendar
June 15 U.S. Taxpayers Living and Working Abroad File 2019 Tax Return (Form 1040) Calendar
June 15 U.S. Taxpayers Living and Working Abroad File Form 4868 to Request 4-Month Income Tax Return Filing Extension (payment of tax not extended) Calendar
June 15 Military Personnel on Duty Outside the U.S. File 2019 Tax Return (Form 1040) Calendar
June 15 Military Personnel on Duty Outside the U.S. File Form 4868 to Request 4-Month Income Tax Return Filing Extension (payment of tax not extended) Calendar

Military personnel and other taxpayers who are serving or living outside the U.S. have until June 15 to file their 2019 tax return. If they want a four-month filing extension, they must submit an application by June 15.

Estimated tax payments for the 2nd quarter of 2020 are also due June 15, while the tip reporting deadline for workers who received tips in May is June 10.

July 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
July 10 Tips for June 2020 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar

For July, employees need to report any tips receive in June to their employer by July 10. Other than that, you can enjoy your time at the pool or beach without having to worry about tax deadlines!

August 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
August 10 Tips for July 2020 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar

The summer slowdown for tax deadlines continues in August. The only important due date for individuals is the monthly tip report. Workers who received tips in July must report them to their employer by August 10.

September 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
September 10 Tips for August 2020 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar
September 15 Estimated Tax Payment for 3rd Quarter of 2020 (Form 1040-ES) Calendar

There are two notable tax due dates in September. First, employees must report August tips to their employer by September 10. Second, estimated tax payments for the 3rd quarter of 2020 are due by September 15.

October 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
October 13 Tips for September 2020 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar
October 15 File Extended 2019 Tax Return (Form 1040) and Pay Tax Due Calendar
October 15 Withdraw Excess IRA Contributions in 2019 to Avoid Penalty if Filing of Form 1040 Was Extended Calendar
October 15 Contribute to Solo 401(k) Plan or Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) Plan for 2019 by Self-Employed if Filing of Form 1040 Was Extended Calendar

If you were granted an extension to file your 2019 tax return, now's the time to send that return to the IRS. The due date for extended returns is October 15. For those who received an extension, October 15 is also the last date for (1) self-employed people to contribute to a solo 401(k) or a simplified employee pension (SEP) plan for 2019, or (2) withdrawing excess IRA contributions made in 2019.

For workers who received tips in September, the deadline to report those tips to your employer is October 13.

November 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
November 10 Tips for October 2020 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar

November is another slow month on the tax calendar. The only deadline is for employees reporting tips earned in October to their boss. That report is due November 10.

December 2020 Tax Due Dates

Date Deadline Calendar Link
December 10 Tips for November 2020 Reported to Employer (Form 4070) Calendar
December 31 Contribution to Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan for 2020 (401(k), 403(b), 457 or federal thrift savings plans) Calendar
December 31 Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) by Individuals Who are 71½ or Older at the End of 2020 Calendar

December is the time to make any last-minute moves to lower your tax bill for the year. But there are also some other important due dates that you need to be aware of in order to stay out of hot water with the IRS. There's the monthly tip reporting deadline, which is December 10 for reporting November tips to your employer. Plus, 2020 contributions to employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k), 403(b), 457 or federal thrift savings plans) have to be in by December 31. That's also the deadline for taking a required minimum distribution for 2020 (unless it's your first RMD, which isn't due until April 1, 2021).

SEE ALSO: 20 Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks and Deductions

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