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There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and last-minute waits for tax returns.
On average, about 29 percent of individual tax returns are received in the three weeks before Tax Day, or about 43 million returns, according to an NBC News analysis of data from the IRS.
There could be a lot of last minute applicants this year. Only 91 million returns had been filed through the end of March, down about 12.2 million from 2019, or 12%, according to pre-pandemic tax data. The IRS will usually accept tax returns by the end of January; last year it started late on february 12.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the recession that followed have rattled tax deadlines in recent years. In 2020, the federal government extension of application deadline from traditional April 15 to July 15. Last year, the deadline moved to May 17.
This year’s deadline has been pushed back three days, to Monday, April 18, because the main IRS office in Washington will be closed on Friday in observance of Emancipation Day in DC
Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts have until April 19 for their observance of Patriot Day, a holiday commemorating battles in the American Revolutionary War.
In addition to last-minute filers, about 12 percent of taxpayers file returns within the first week that the IRS begins accepting them, while an average of 11 percent more file late with the post-Tax Day extension. .