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Publication 3

Extension of Deadlines(p24)

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.

Service That Qualifies for an Extension of Deadline(p24)

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.
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 Arabian peninsula combat zone.

Missing status.(p24)

Time in a missing status (missing in action or prisoner of war) counts as time in a combat zone or a contingency operation.

Support personnel.(p24)

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.


Spouses of individuals who served in a combat zone or contingency operation are entitled to the same deadline extensions with two exceptions.

Length of Extension(p24)

Your deadline for taking actions with the IRS is extended for 180 days after the later of:
  1. 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
  2. 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, 2015) to file your 2014 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, 2015) are added to the 180 days when determining the last day allowed for filing your 2014 tax return.

Example 1.(p25)

Captain Margaret Jones, a resident of Maryland, entered Saudi Arabia on December 1, 2013. She remained there through March 31, 2015, 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' 2013, 2014, and 2015 returns are figured as follows.
When the due date for doing any act for tax purposes–filing a return, paying taxes, etc.– falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day.

Example 2.(p25)

You generally have 3 years from April 17, 2012, to file a claim for refund against your timely filed 2011 tax return. This means that your claim normally must be filed by April 17, 2015. However, if you served in a combat zone from November 1, 2014, through March 23, 2015, and were not injured, your deadline for filing that claim is extended 348 days (180 plus 168) after you leave the combat zone. This extends your deadline to March 7, 2016. The 168 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, 2014– April 17, 2015).

Qualified hospitalization.(p25)

The hospitalization must be the result of an injury received while serving in a combat zone or a contingency operation. Qualified hospitalization means:


Petty Officer Leonard Brown's ship entered the Persian Gulf on January 5, 2014. On February 15, 2014, Petty Officer Brown, a resident of Maryland, was injured and was flown to a U.S. hospital. He remained in the hospital through April 21, 2015. The deadlines for filing Petty Officer Brown's 2013, 2014, and 2015 returns are figured as follows.

Actions for Which Deadlines Are Extended(p25)

The actions to which the deadline extension provision applies include:
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.
Other actions to which the deadline extension provision applies are listed in Revenue Procedure 2007-56, 2007-34 I.R.B. 388, available at
Even though the deadline is extended, you may want to file a return earlier to receive any refund due. See Filing Returns, earlier.