This means they paid Late: "did file and pay on Aug 20" "who extended before July 15"
You still need to pay what you owe, when filing for the extension.
"Have they made the late payment penalty more strict this year"
This has not changed. If it is due April 15, and you file for extension, you still are supposed to Pay with that submission for an extension.
"Level Up" is a gaming function, not a real life function.