The 2013 Government Shutdown: Is The Filing Deadline Still October 15th?


Although the October 15th tax filing deadline for extensions is not quite as well known as the crazy tax day of the April 15th deadline, this year's October 15th is shaping up to be nearly as interesting, what with the government shutdown going on. You may be unsure if you're still required to file your taxes under these circumstances.


The IRS, however, is very clear about it, saying: "You should continue to file and pay taxes as normal. Individuals who requested an extension of time should file their returns by October 15, 2013."


So, procrastinators, you have no hope of relief during the government shutdown, except under certain extraordinary circumstances. These can be:

  • If you're in the military and in combat zones. Once you get out you usually have 6 months (180 days) to get your returns filed and taxes paid.
  • If you were affected by the flooding disaster in Colorado, you have until December 2 to file.
  • If you are out of the country, you can file a request for an extension for two more months, but the IRS can accept or deny your request in this case.


If you did file your extension in April but you did not pay the taxes owed at that time, it is possible you may be on the hook for penalties for the unpaid amount. The extension gives you the extra six months to file the return, not to pay the taxes owed. So even during the government shutdown, when you may not be able to get any help from the IRS employees regarding your return or the taxes owed, you need to make your best estimation of the taxes due and get them paid before any unnecessary penalties accrue.


Individuals trying to get extra tax savings by contributing to an IRA after the April 15th deadline will not be successful because that only works before the deadline, not after. Anything contributed after the April 15 will go to your 2013 taxes, not to the 2012. For businesses, however, the situation is a bit different—if you want to contribute to your SEP-IRA or your solo 401(k) plan, your contributions between April 15, and October 15 will indeed count toward towards any tax savings you can get on your 2012 taxes.