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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tax Filing Deadline and Extensions

Need more time to file your tax return? Please be aware that an extension of time to file your return does not grant you any extension of time to pay your taxes. Tuesday, April 18th is the deadline for most to pay taxes owed and avoid penalty and interest charges.

So why April 18th? April 15th, or Tax Day, falls on a Saturday this year, so the filing deadline would automatically be extended to Monday, April 17th. However, did you know that April 16th is also a holiday? Emancipation Day is a holiday in Washington DC to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act, which president Abraham Lincoln signed on April 16, 1862. April 16 is a legal holiday in Washington DC so local government offices are closed and many public services do not operate. As April 16th falls on a Sunday this year, Emancipation Day will be observed in Washington DC on Monday, April 17th so the date to file and pay your taxes has been extended to April 18th, 2017! In order to maintain consistency, the State of Montana has also gone with the April 18th deadline.

If you need information on filing a federal tax extension, you can visit our office or the IRS website.

Filing a federal extension is typically a more straight forward process than filing with the State of Montana; and filing a federal request for an extension of an individual income tax return does not have any bearing on receiving a Montana extension. To qualify for an automatic, six-month extension to file a Montana individual income tax return, taxpayers need to, by April 18, have paid either

  • 90% of their current year Montana income tax liability, or
  • 100% of their prior year Montana income tax liability.
  • Taxpayers also qualify for an extension if their 2016 tax liability is $200 or less.
To ensure you have met the requirements listed above and to see if you need to make an extension payment, taxpayers should review and complete Montana Form EXT-16, Extension Payment Worksheet. If an extension payment is necessary, you can pay it online by going to and clicking Online Services or with a check by using the tax payment voucher from the bottom of Form EXT-16.

A valid Montana extension gives taxpayers until October 16, 2017 to file. Unless taxpayers qualify for the extension because their tax liability is $200 or less, an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. Late pay penalties and interest accrue from the original due date until the tax liability is paid in full.