Tax day for many is today, May 17, but extensions are available

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers that the deadline for filing most individual income tax returns this year was today, May 17. The agency also wants taxpayers who have yet to file their tax returns to know that there are a variety of options available to help them.

In a press release, the IRS has reminded taxpayers that tax help is available 24 hours a day on IRS.gov. Whether filing a tax return, requesting an extension or making a payment, the IRS website can help last-minute filers on just about everything related to taxes.

The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to file electronically. Doing so, whether through e-file or IRS Free File, vastly reduces tax return errors as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. Free File Fillable Forms means there is a free option for everyone.

Request more time

Anyone who needs more time to file can get it. According to the IRS, the easiest way to do so is through the Free File link on IRS.gov. In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an extension on Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Taxpayers are reminded, however, that an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and pay any amount due. Tax payments are generally due by the May 17, filing deadline, and taxpayers should pay as much as they can to avoid possible penalties and interest.

Taxpayers paying all or part of their income taxes, due by the May 17, deadline, with IRS Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) or a credit or debit card will get an automatic extension of time to file. By selecting “extension” as the reason for the payment, there is no need to separately file a Form 4868. Taxpayers will also receive a confirmation number after they submit their payment. When paying with Direct Pay and EFTPS, taxpayers can sign up for email notifications.

Any payment made with an extension request will reduce or, if the balance is paid in full, eliminate interest and late-payment penalties that apply to payments made after the May 17, tax filing deadline.

Alternatively, people can complete a paper copy of Form 4868 and mail it to the IRS. The form must be mailed and postmarked by the filing deadline. Download and print it from IRS.gov/forms.

While an estimated 16 million taxpayers will request an extension of time to file, others automatically qualify for more time to meet their tax obligations. To find out more visit, IRS.gov.



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