For people who requested an IRS extension to file, the October 17, 2022, deadline may seem far away, but it’s coming up fast. Taxpayers who haven’t filed, whether they requested an extension or not, should file a complete and accurate return as soon as possible. For people who have all their paperwork in hand, filing sooner and filing electronically could help them avoid possible processing delays later.
Here are some resources and information to help taxpayers avoid getting caught up in a last-minute filing rush.
Resources for people preparing their tax return
- IRS.gov. The IRS webpage has tools and resources to help taxpayers and answer FAQs.
- Online Account. Access individual account information to get info from the most recently filed tax return, including adjusted gross income, Economic Impact Payments and advance child tax credit payments.
- Interactive Tax Assistant. Taxpayers can enter their info to get answers for their specific tax situation. This tool can determine if an individual must file a tax return, their filing status, if they can claim a dependent, if an income type is taxable, and their eligibility to claim a credit or deduct certain expenses.
- Tax professionals. Tax pros can also help taxpayers prepare their tax returns. Authorized IRS e-file providers are qualified to prepare, transmit and process e-filed returns. Taxpayers should choose a tax preparer wisely. The IRS online directory can help people find a local tax pro.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. The IRS’s VITA program offers free basic tax return preparation to people who generally make $58,000 or less and people with disabilities or limited English-speaking taxpayers. Most sites are only open during the filing season, but taxpayers can use the VITA Site Locator tool to see if there’s a community-based site staffed by IRS-trained and certified volunteers still open near them.
Taxpayers can file electronically for the fastest turnaround
E-filing is fast, accurate and secure. When taxpayers choose direct deposit, their refund goes directly into their bank account. The IRS processes most e-filed returns and issues direct deposit refunds in less than 21 days.
- IRS Free File. Eligible individuals can use the IRS Free File program to prepare and file their 2021 federal tax return for free. Taxpayers can choose the brand-name tax preparation software company that is best for them. Some companies even offer free state tax return preparation. Those who earned more than $73,000 have the option to use IRS Free File Fillable Forms.
- MilTax online software. MilTax online software is also available for members of the military and certain veterans, regardless of income. This software is offered through the Department of Defense.
- Commercial software. The software uses a question-and-answer format that makes doing taxes easier. The return is signed electronically and transmitted through IRS-approved electronic channels.
An extension to file a tax return is not an extension to pay taxes
Taxpayers who owe taxes can review all payment options online. The IRS has options for people who can’t pay their taxes, including applying for a payment plan on IRS.gov. Here are some other things to know:
- Generally, there’s no penalty for not filing a return if due a refund, but there’s also no statute of limitations for assessing and collecting taxes due if no return has been filed.
- Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the April due date and will accrue until paid in full. Penalties will accrue for each month tax remains unpaid until maxed out at 25% of the unpaid tax.
- Submitting a tax return and paying the amount owed as soon as possible can help taxpayers avoid further interest and penalties.