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Most Taxpayers On Extension Must File By October 15

If you, like me, joined millions of other taxpayers in filing for an extension this year, be sure to check your calendar: October 15 is the due date to file your 2019 tax return.

To avoid late filing penalties, you need to file on or before the October 15 deadline. If you owe taxes, you’ll want to pay as soon as possible to reduce any penalties and interest.

Timely File Your Return

Even on extension, the rules for timely filing your return still apply. That means that you need to have your return postmarked on or before midnight on October 15, 2020. If you want a little extra breathing room, do it as soon as possible.

If you’re filing electronically, the same general rules apply: you’ll want your return postmarked electronically on or before midnight on October 15, 2020. Under the Regs (§ 301.7502-1(d)), that means that the return is transmitted via an authorized electronic return transmitter and received by the IRS in a processable form.

IRS Free File Still Open

If you want to file using Free File, you can file online with the software until October 15 at midnight ET. You can print your returns until October 20.

IRS Free File lets you prepare and file your federal income tax online for free. File at an IRS partner site with the IRS Free File Program or use Free File Fillable Forms.

Some Taxpayers Get More Time

Some taxpayers are entitled to an automatic extension of time to file without having to do anything. That includes:

  • Members of the military and others serving in combat zones or hazardous zone areas generally have until at least 180 days after they leave the zone to file returns and pay any taxes due.
  • Taxpayers affected by natural disasters, including victims of Hurricane Sally and the Oregon wildfires, may have extra time. For more details, check the disaster relief page on the IRS website.

Choose Direct Deposit For Refunds

If you’re expecting a refund, consider direct deposit. Direct deposit is much faster than waiting for a paper check to arrive in the mail. You can track your refund with the Where’s My Refund? tool (or use the IRS2Go app).

Pay Electronically

You can make your federal tax payments online, by phone or with your mobile device and the IRS2Go app. You can find out more about paying your taxes here. And if you can’t pay your bill, options are still available, including installment agreements.

Help Is Available

IRS.gov has answers for Frequently Asked Questions.

The IRS website has tax information in many languages including:

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