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I just got a letter from the IRS, saying that I owe them a small amount of money. I live in California, where we had an automatic extension to the due date until October 15, so that is when I filed. I ended up owing an extra $1521 with my return (I paid it when I filed), and now the IRS is asking me for interest and penalties on that $1521 for the period from April 15 to October 15. Was I late in paying? I thought the extension meant that I had until October 15 to pay?

There is actually one complication that might be relevant: I actually miscalculated and overpaid by $70 with my return. Does making that error mean that the IRS doesn't count my return as filed on time?


update: I’ve now had a few phone conversations with the IRS and the weird thing is that their computer is not indicating Sacramento was covered by the emergency declaration but all of their press releases say that it was. Anyway, that seems to be the last sticking point.

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    You’d better find those press releases…
    – RonJohn
    Nov 21, 2023 at 16:18
  • Yep, I sent this one in with a Form 843: irs.gov/newsroom/…
    – Wesley
    Nov 27, 2023 at 21:11

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The disaster relief allows postponing deadlines to file and to pay. For much of California, the deadlines to file and pay 2022 taxes have been postponed to November 16, 2023 (after the initial postpone to May 15th, and then again to October 16th). See the details of the announcement here.

As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Oct. 16 to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period

The instructions on the announcement website say this with regards to your question:

If an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date that falls within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate the penalty.

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