A friend of mine was stressing because they weren't done with their taxes and took the day off to finish them. They didn't want to miss the April 15th deadline. So I went online to see what happens and how much trouble you could get in.

I went to the intuit website and they say this:

"If the government owes you, you'll lose your refund if you don't file within 3 years of the April tax filing deadline date.This means that for tax year 2014 returns, you'll need to file by April 15, 2018 to claim your refund (October 15 of 2018 if you filed an extension).

On the other hand, if you owe taxes, you'll be subject to the failure-to-file penalty, which amounts to 5% of your unpaid tax bill for every month your tax bill remains unpaid after the April deadline, up to a maximum of 25%.

In the meantime, the IRS will send you several reminders to file. If ignored, the IRS may then file a substitute return on your behalf. And while this may sound like a clever way to hand off your tax-prep chores to the government, keep in mind that government-prepared returns may not grant you every deduction or credit you're entitled to.

Delinquent taxpayers who owe more than $25,000 will eventually receive a visit from an IRS representative to collect payment."


Which if I am reading this correctly, you have a little bit of time after the filing date if you are owed money, but if you owe them money, you are in trouble and have to pay them penalties. If you let it go real long, they will do it for you and you many owe more than if you had figured it out and sent it in.

Some people wind up losing your return if you aren't attentive and turn it in.

Bottom line is the government wants you to do it on time. If you can not, you can turn it in later, if for some reason it takes you longer.