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Published: September 23, 2020   |   Last Updated: December 5, 2020

Important Reminders for October 15 – Extension Filers

Most individual taxpayers who filed an extension for their 2019 federal income tax return have until Thursday, October 15 to file.

Although October 15 is the last day for most people to file, some taxpayers may have more time. They include:

  • Taxpayers serving in or in support of the Armed Forces in an area designated as a combat zone or contingency operation. They typically have at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file returns and pay any taxes due. For more information, see IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide.
  • Taxpayers in federally declared disaster areas who already had valid extensions. For details, see the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

Here are some key reminders for extension filers.

Use IRS Free File. Nearly everyone can e-file their tax return for free through IRS Free File. The program is available on IRS.gov now through October 15. E-filing is easy, safe and the most accurate way for people to file their tax returns. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) website has additional information on Free File options.

File to get a refund. Anyone due a refund should file as soon as possible and use direct deposit to get their tax refund electronically deposited for free into their financial account. There is no penalty for filing a late return for people who are due a refund. The TAS website has additional information on options for filing a tax return.

Pay tax balance as soon as possible. The deadline to pay 2019 federal income taxes was July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can check their account balance or view payment options online. Those who owe and can’t pay their balance in full should pay as much as they can to reduce interest and penalties for late payment. Taxpayers who cannot pay in full should evaluate payment options and call the IRS as soon as possible to resolve any balance due and avoid any further potential penalties and interest. Pay taxes online for free from a checking or savings account with IRS Direct Pay. The TAS website has additional information on many topics related to paying taxes.

File by the deadline to avoid penalties and interest. Taxpayers with extensions must file by Thursday, October.15, 2020 to avoid a failure-to-file penalty. The TAS website has additional information on the consequences of not filing.

What taxpayers should do about a missed deadline. Anyone who did not request an extension by this year’s July 15 deadline should file and pay as soon as possible. This will stop additional interest and penalties from accruing.

Currently, TAS is open to virtually serve taxpayers who find themselves in hardship situations or dealing with IRS tax problems they’ve been unable to resolve directly with the IRS. Visit our Contact Us page to learn more.

You can also follow the Taxpayer Advocate Service across social media: TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and YouTube for the latest news