Are taxes due when you file, or due on April 15?

I owe a bit of taxes on my Federal return this year. I’m the type person where it annoys me to have paperwork sitting around. I almost always pay monthly type bills (gas, water, electric, cable etc.) the day I receive them, even if they aren’t due for 3 weeks just because it bugs me to have it sitting in my bills due box.

Could I go ahead and mail my Federal return with a check for half the amount due and then pay the rest separately in 2 months? Or is it better to just wait a few weeks and send it all as one check?

I’m sure it’s probably no huge deal. I have a pretty simple return and the amount due is a little under $2000. But is there any reason NOT to go ahead and mail it with a $1000 check enclosed and send the remainder before April 15 vs. waiting a few weeks and just sending it all at once?

This probably seems like a silly question, but I think i’m mildly OCD and it annoys me to have a completed return not mailed and outta my hair.

So if I understand, you will pay in full by April 15th (actually 16th this year), but installments until then? I am sure if you mail them in with the proper voucher they will understand. If one of those payments is after April, you will get charged penalties (but can go on installment plan) but not before then.

Yeah. $1900 due. Mail return and $1000 now and then send in the $900 balance in a few weeks. (before 4/15).

Or I could just wait a few weeks and send it all in with the return.

Most are gonna say “so why not just wait and send it in all at once, as long as its before April 15, why do you care?” The reason is, as I said, I feel better having a clean ‘Out Box’. Everything is paid for this month except for that IRS envelope and it irritates me seeing it. OCD. I’m just curious if there is any compelling reason NOT to send it as 2 payments.

Yeah, there’s a good reason. If the IRS has an x% chance or screwing something up on each transaction, you have 2x% chance if you do it in two payments.

IOW, you are just asking for trouble.

Your taxes are due on April 15 regardless of when you file your return.
(In 2012, it is April 17 due to federal holidays.)

You don’t have to send your payment with your return or you can send a partial payment with your return if you like. You may get a letter from the IRS that says you didn’t make the entire payment, but there will be no penalty if you wish to wait until April to pay it.

When you mail in your second payment, be sure to include a Form 1040-V voucher. Also write your SSN and “2011 Form 1040” on the check (be careful to write 2011, not 2012).

Can I make a suggestion? Sign up for EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System). It allows you to pay your federal taxes from any checking account at any US bank without having to mail anything in. You can even schedule payments for a future date. There is no charge to sign up or use the service, but it takes a couple of weeks to get registered since they send you a PIN in the mail.

If you currently owe any penalty, that may continue to increase between now and April 15.

Yes, the tax payment is indeed due on April 15th. You can send it in anytime before then without penalties. Even in installments. There is a risk slight that one will get lost in the mail, or lost in the IRS office, or applied to the wrong account, etc. But if you paid most of it in an earlier installment, the IRS is likely to be more accepting if one of those happened.

Even when you file the form for an extension of the due date, that does NOT give you an extension for payment. You need to send in your estimated payment with the extension form, by April 15th. And you will get charged interest (and possibly penalties) if you under-estimated the amount.

This probably doesn’t apply to your situation, but it might add some clarity:
It depends on the amount you owe - when amounts are greater then some formula (amount owed, % of previous years taxes covered, etc.) you actually need to get them in quarterly in the year you earned the money, which means April 15th is after the fact. The due date for estimated taxes for 4th quarter of the prior year is Jan 31.

Actually, Q4 estimated taxes are due Jan 15th.

Yes, you are correct - I was working from memory from a couple years ago.