The October 15th deadline for extensions is right around the corner. The IRS is reminding taxpayers who filed extensions that electronic filing and other options for help with taxes are still available before October 15th deadline. Taxpayers who did not request an extension and have yet to file a 2017 tax return can generally avoid additional penalties and interest by filing the return as soon as possible and paying any balance due.
The October 15th deadline for extensions applies to those who filed for any extension of time earlier in the year. It is still possible to e-file for the 2017 tax year. The IRS urges all taxpayers to choose the speed and convenience of e-filing. This is an ideal option as it is fast, accurate and secure. The IRS verifies the receipt of an e-filed return and those who choose to file electronically make fewer mistakes. Of the 147.3 million returns received by the IRS through August of this year, about 88 percent–or 130 million–were e-filed.
Individuals who purchase their own tax software can e-file, and most paid tax preparers are now required to file their clients returns electronically. All taxpayers can use IRS Free File. This program offers two options: Brand name software, offered by the IRS’s commercial partners to individuals and families with incomes of $66,000 or less; or online fillable forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms available for any income level. The fastest and easiest way to get a refund is to e-file and use direct deposit. More than eight out of 10 taxpayers who receive refunds choose direct deposit. Individuals can choose to deposit their refunds into as many as three accounts.
Members of the military and others serving in a combat zone localities still have more time to file. They typically have until at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to both file returns and pay any taxes due. Taxpayers in several disaster area localities who already had valid extensions now have more time to file. Currently, taxpayers in parts of California, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas qualify for this relief.