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October 15 Tax Extension Deadline Approaches

Tax Extension Filers: Your 2019 Tax Return Is Due By October 15, 2020

This is an important reminder for taxpayers who filed an extension.

If you filed a tax extension earlier this year, the October 15 deadline for your 2019 tax return is approaching soon. You should complete your income tax return (Form 1040) and file it with the IRS on or before October 15th to avoid penalties and interest.

If you did not get an extension and you still haven’t filed your 2019 tax return, you may be able to avoid additional late fees and interest as long as you file the return as soon as possible and pay any taxes due.

File & Pay Taxes Online

There are several convenient ways to file your taxes electronically. The IRS encourages taxpayers and tax professionals to “continue to use electronic options to support social distancing and speed the processing of tax returns, refunds and payments.”

>> Start Your Free E-file

IRS Free File is available to taxpayers who qualify – to be eligible, your annual income must be $69,000 or below. IRS Free File is a public-private partnership that allows for free federal tax filing on an IRS partner site, with state tax filing included for free with some offers. The online filing services provide guided tax preparation by asking questions and computing all of the math for you.

Select Direct Deposit for a Faster Tax Refund

The IRS recommends Direct Deposit as the safest and quickest way for taxpayers to get their refund. Make sure you choose the Direct Deposit option to have your tax refund electronically deposited into your bank or other financial account. You may even use this refund option to deposit your refund check into two or three different accounts. Direct Deposit is much faster and easier than waiting for a paper check to arrive in the mail.

After you file your return, you can use the Where’s My Refund? tool to track the status of your tax refund.

Schedule Tax Payments Electronically

Taxpayers who filed an extension can also schedule their federal tax payments up to the October 15 deadline. The IRS allows you to pay online, by telephone, or with your mobile device using the IRS2Go smartphone app. You can choose to pay your taxes with a credit card, debit card, or digital wallet option through an IRS-approved payment processor. (Note that there may be processing fees involved, although no fees go to the IRS.)

According to the IRS, “Electronic payment options are the optimal way to make a tax payment.” If you are using online tax software to prepare your return, you can pay your taxes when you file electronically. If you are using a professional tax preparer, you should ask the preparer to make your tax payment through an Electronic Funds Withdrawal from your bank account.

The IRS also offers Direct Pay, which allows taxpayers to pay online directly from a checking or savings account with no fees. With Direct Pay, you can also schedule tax payments up to 1 year (365 days) in advance.

Taxpayers can also enroll in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), which gives you the choice of paying online or by telephone using the EFTPS Voice Response System.

Another alternative is to download the IRS2Go app on your mobile device. This app provides mobile-friendly payment options, including Direct Pay and other Payment Provider payments on smartphones.

If you have questions about the status of your federal tax account, you can visit the IRS Tax Account page to securely access your information. This allows you to view the amount you owe the IRS, access your tax records online, review your payment history, and see important tax return information for the most recent return you filed.

Additional Tax Extensions

While October 15 is the deadline for most people to file, there are some taxpayers who may be granted more time. This includes the following:

  • Members of the US military and others serving in combat zones generally have 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file their tax return and pay any taxes due.
  • Taxpayers in federally declared disaster areas who already had valid extensions may receive more time to file. For more information, see the IRS Disaster Relief

Coronavirus Stimulus Checks: Non-Filers Must Act by October 15

Most Americans have already received their Economic Impact Payments, however, the IRS reminds those with little or no income (who are not required to file a tax return) that they may be eligible to receive a COVID-19 stimulus check. The IRS provides a Non-Filers tool for people with income below a certain threshold ($12,200 for single filers and $24,400 for married filers) to see if they qualify for a payment. The deadline to enter your information is October 15, 2020.

RELATED: Check the Status of Your Stimulus Payment

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