IRS reminds taxpayers to file before the April 18th deadline

Most taxpayers face an April 18 deadline this year due to the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, DC falling on April 15.
(Photo: TravelingOtter / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE)–Most taxpayers face an April 18 deadline this year due to the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, DC falling on April 15.

If taxpayers can’t file by the due date of their return, they should request an extension of time to file. To receive an automatic 6-month extension of time to file a return, taxpayers must file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return by the due date of their return. An extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. Taxpayers may be subject to a late payment penalty on any tax not paid by the original due date of their return.

Utilize IRS Free File

The IRS Free File Program is a public-private partnership between the IRS and many tax preparation and filing software industry companies who provide their online tax preparation and filing for free. It provides two ways for taxpayers to prepare and file their federal income tax online for free:

  • Guided Tax Preparation provides free online tax preparation and filing at an IRS partner site. Our partners deliver this service at no cost to qualifying taxpayers. Taxpayers whose AGI is $73,000 or less qualify for a free federal tax return.
  • Free File Fillable Forms are electronic federal tax forms, equivalent to a paper 1040 form. You should know how to prepare your own tax return using form instructions and IRS publications if needed. It provides a free option to taxpayers whose income (AGI) is greater than $73,000.

 Prior year returns

Please note taxpayers can only file their current year tax return using IRS Free File. Individuals cannot process a prior year return using IRS Free File.

Prior year returns can only be filed electronically by registered tax preparers for the two previous tax years. The IRS does not allow electronic filing for prior year returns through self-preparation websites. Taxpayers must print, sign, and mail prior year returns. Our Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help taxpayers find preparers in their area who currently hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS, or who hold an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion. Taxpayers can also check the professional organizations many tax preparers belong to.

 “It’s a good idea to file even if your income doesn’t reach the point where you must file,” said IRS spokesperson Stacy Engle “To receive these credits and refunds, you can’t get it if you don’t claim it.”

Individuals not required to file must file a tax return to claim important tax credits

The IRS strongly encourages individuals who are not required to file a tax return to file one this season to claim potentially thousands of dollars in tax credits. By filing a tax return, individuals could claim:

  • The Recovery Rebate Credit to receive any remaining 2021 stimulus payments that they might not have received (for example, if they added a new child or other dependent in 2021);
  • The remaining Child Tax Credit for which they are eligible, including any monthly payments that they might not have received (for example, if they added a new qualifying child in 2021); and
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit, the federal government’s largest refundable tax credit for low- to moderate-income families (the amount of which has been nearly tripled for filers without children).

 Choose direct deposit

Now, more than ever, taxpayers need a reliable, fast, secure, contact-less way to receive their money. The best and fastest way to get their tax refund is to have it electronically deposited for free into their financial account. The IRS program is called direct deposit. Taxpayers can use it to deposit their refund into one, two or even three accounts.

People who don’t have a bank account can visit the FDIC website or use the National Credit Union Administration’s Credit Union Locator Tool to find an institution that allows them to open an account online and for tips on how to choose the right account. Veterans can check out the Veterans Benefits Banking Program for access to financial services at participating banks. Taxpayers can also ask their preparer if they offer other electronic refund options.

Although most refunds are delivered in 21 days, it could take longer if the tax return includes errors, is incomplete or requires further security review. Paper-filed tax returns and paper refund checks will take even longer this year. IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Taxpayers can track their refund using our Where’s My Refund? tool.

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