If you are one of the 13 million taxpayers who asked for more time to file your federal tax return and still haven’t filed, your extra time is about to expire. Oct. 15 is the last day to file for most people who requested an automatic six-month extension. If you have not yet filed, here are some things that you should know:
Try IRS Free File or e-file. You can still e-file your tax return for free through IRS Free File. The program is available only on IRS.gov through Oct. 15. IRS e-file is easy, safe and the most accurate way to file your taxes. The tax software you use to e-file helps you get all the tax benefits that you’re entitled to claim.
Use Direct Deposit. If you are due a refund, the fastest way to get it is to combine direct deposit and e-file. Direct deposit has a proven track record; eight in 10 taxpayers who get a refund choose it. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.
Use IRS Online Payment Options. If you owe taxes the best way to pay them is with IRS Direct Pay. It’s the simple, quick and free way to pay from your checking or savings account. You also have other online payment options. These include Electronic Funds Withdrawal or payment by debit or credit card. Just click on the “Payments” tab on the IRS.gov home page.
Don’t overlook tax benefits. Make sure to check if you qualify for tax breaks that you might miss if you rush to file. This includes the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Saver’s Credit. The American Opportunity Tax Credit and other education tax benefits can help you pay for college.
File on time. If you owe taxes, file on time to avoid a late filing penalty. If you owe and can’t pay all of your taxes, pay as much as you can to reduce interest and penalties for late payment. Use the Online Payment Agreement tool to ask for more time to pay. You can also file Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, with your tax return.
More time for the military. Some people have more time to file. This includes members of the military and others serving in a combat zone. If this applies to you, you typically have until at least 180 days after you leave the combat zone to both file returns and pay any taxes due.
Try easy-to-use tools on IRS.gov. Use the EITC Assistant to see if you’re eligible for the credit. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool to get answers to common tax questions. The IRS Tax Map gives you a single point to get tax law information by subject. It integrates your topic with related tax forms, instructions and publications into one research tool.
Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.