The time for taking care of certain tax matters can be postponed. These postponements are referred to as "extensions of deadlines."
The deadline for IRS to take certain actions, such as collection and examination actions, may also be extended.taxmap/pubs/p3-009.htm#en_us_publink100096116
The deadline for filing tax returns, paying taxes, filing claims for refund, and taking other actions with the IRS is automatically extended if either of the following statements is true.
- You serve in the Armed Forces in a combat zone or you have qualifying service outside of a combat zone.
- You serve in the Armed Forces on deployment outside the United States away from your permanent duty station while participating in a contingency operation. A contingency operation is a military operation that is designated by the Secretary of Defense or results in calling members of the uniformed services to active duty (or retains them on active duty) during a war or a national emergency declared by the President or Congress.
See Combat Zone
, earlier, under Combat Zone Exclusion
, for the beginning dates for the Afghanistan area combat zone, the Kosovo area combat zone, and the Persian Gulf area combat zone.
Time in a missing status (missing in action or prisoner of war) counts as time in a combat zone or a contingency operation. taxmap/pubs/p3-009.htm#en_us_publink100096118
Deadlines are also extended if you are serving in a combat zone or a contingency operation in support of the Armed Forces. This applies to Red Cross personnel, accredited correspondents, and civilian personnel acting under the direction of the Armed Forces in support of those forces. taxmap/pubs/p3-009.htm#en_us_publink100096119
Spouses of individuals who served in a combat zone or contingency operation are entitled to the same deadline extensions with two exceptions.
- The extension does not apply to a spouse for any tax year beginning more than 2 years after the date the area ceases to be a combat zone or the operation ceases to be a contingency operation.
- The extension does not apply to a spouse for any period the qualifying individual is hospitalized in the United States for injuries incurred in a combat zone or contingency operation.
Your deadline for taking actions with the IRS is extended for 180 days after the later of:
- The last day you are in a combat zone, have qualifying service outside of the combat zone, or serve in a contingency operation (or the last day the area qualifies as a combat zone or the operation qualifies as a contingency operation), or
- The last day of any continuous qualified hospitalization (defined later) for injury from service in the combat zone or contingency operation or while performing qualifying service outside of the combat zone.
In addition to the 180 days, your deadline is extended by the number of days that were left for you to take the action with the IRS when you entered a combat zone (or began performing qualifying service outside the combat zone) or began serving in a contingency operation. If you entered the combat zone or began serving in the contingency operation before the period of time to take the action began, your deadline is extended by the entire period of time you have to take the action. For example, you had 31/2 months (January 1 – April 15, 2008) to file your 2007 tax return. Any days of this 31/2 month period that were left when you entered the combat zone (or the entire 31/2 months if you entered the combat zone by January 1, 2008) are added to the 180 days when determining the last day allowed for filing your 2007 tax return. taxmap/pubs/p3-009.htm#en_us_publink100096121
Captain Margaret Jones entered Saudi Arabia on December 1, 2006. She remained there through March 31, 2008, when she departed for the United States. She was not injured and did not return to the combat zone. The deadlines for filing Captain Jones' 2006, 2007, and 2008 returns are figured as follows.
- The 2006 tax return. The deadline is January 10, 2009. This deadline is 285 days (180 plus 105) after Captain Jones' last day in the combat zone (March 31, 2008). The 105 additional days are the number of days in the 31/2 month filing period that were left when she entered the combat zone (January 1 – April 15, 2007).
- The 2007 tax return. The deadline is January 11, 2009. The deadline is 286 days (180 plus 106) after Captain Jones' last day in the combat zone (March 31, 2008). The 106 additional days are the number of days in the 31/2 month filing period that were left when she entered the combat zone (January 1 – April 15, 2008).
- The 2008 tax return. The deadline is not extended because the 180-day extension period after March 31, 2008, plus the number of days left in the filing period when she entered the combat zone (105) ends on January 10, 2009, which is before the due date for her 2008 return (April 15, 2009).
You generally have 3 years from April 15, 2005, to file a claim for refund against your timely filed 2004 tax return. This means that your claim normally must be filed by April 15, 2008. However, if you served in a combat zone from November 1, 2007, through March 23, 2008, and were not injured, your deadline for filing that claim is extended 347 days (180 plus 167) after you leave the combat zone. This extends your deadline to March 6, 2009. The 167 additional days are the number of days in the 3-year period for filing the refund claim that were left when you entered the combat zone on November 1 (November 1, 2007 – April 15, 2008). taxmap/pubs/p3-009.htm#en_us_publink100096123
The hospitalization must be the result of an injury received while serving in a combat zone or a contingency operation. Qualified hospitalization means:
- Any hospitalization outside the United States, and
- Up to 5 years of hospitalization in the United States.
Petty Officer Leonard Brown's ship entered the Persian Gulf on January 5, 2007. On February 15, 2007, Petty Officer Brown was injured and was flown to a U.S. hospital. He remained in the hospital through April 21, 2008. The deadlines for filing Petty Officer Brown's 2006, 2007, and 2008 returns are figured as follows.
- The 2006 tax return. The deadline is January 27, 2009. Petty Officer Brown has 281 days (180 plus 101) after his last day in the hospital (April 21, 2008) to file his 2006 return. The 101 additional days are the number of days in the 31/2 month filing period that were left when he entered the combat zone (January 5 – April 15, 2007).
- The 2007 tax return. The deadline is February 1, 2009. Petty Officer Brown has 286 days (180 plus 106) after April 21, 2008, to file his 2007 tax return. The 106 additional days are the number of days in the 2008 filing period that were left when he entered the combat zone (January 1 – April 15, 2008). Because February 1, 2009, is a Sunday, Petty Officer Brown's return is considered timely filed if he files it no later than February 2, 2009.
- The 2008 tax return. The deadline is not extended because the 180-day extension period after April 21, 2008, plus the number of days left in the filing period when he entered the combat zone (105) ends on January 31, 2009, which is before the due date for his 2008 return (April 15, 2009).
The actions to which the deadline extension provision applies include:
- Filing any return of income, estate, or gift tax,
- Paying any income, estate, or gift tax,
- Filing a petition with the Tax Court for redetermination of a deficiency, or for review of a Tax Court decision,
- Filing a claim for credit or refund of any tax,
- Bringing suit for any claim for credit or refund,
- Making a qualified retirement contribution to an IRA,
- Allowing a credit or refund of any tax by the IRS,
- Assessment of any tax by the IRS,
- Giving or making any notice or demand by the IRS for the payment of any tax, or for any liability for any tax,
- Collection by the IRS of any tax due, and
- Bringing suit by the United States for any tax due.
If the IRS takes any actions covered by these provisions or sends you a notice of examination before learning that you are entitled to an extension of the deadline, contact your legal assistance office. No penalties or interest will be imposed for failure to file a return or pay taxes during the extension period.
Even though the deadline is extended, you may want to file a return earlier to receive any refund due. See Filing Returns