IRS Tax Tip 2020-78, July 1, 2020
The July deadline for filing a 2019 tax return is near, but IRS tax help is available 24 hours a day on IRS.gov. Whether filing a tax return, requesting an extension or making a payment, the IRS website can help taxpayers answer most questions and avoid long waits for phone assistance.
Electronic filing is the best option
Taxpayers who file electronically will likely have fewer mistakes on their tax return. Electronic filing options like IRS Free File or commercial tax software do the math, flag common errors and ask for missing information. Taxpayers with income over $69,000 who know how to complete their tax returns can use the Free File Fillable Forms.
Extension to file request
Taxpayers can request an extension to file until October 15. This is not an extension of time to pay. Taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on the form and pay as much as they can by July 15 to avoid possible penalties and interest.
Individual tax filers, regardless of income, can use IRS Free File to electronically request an automatic tax-filing extension. To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and should pay any amount due.
Taxpayers can get an automatic extension of time to file when they pay their federal income taxes using:
They should pay by the filing deadline and select extension as the reason for the payment.
People can mail a Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. They must complete, print and mail Form 4868 to the IRS by the July 15 filing deadline.
Refund status options
Taxpayers may have their refund electronically deposited into their bank or other financial account. They can check on their refund by using Where's My Refund? on IRS.gov or download the IRS2Go mobile app and get the most up-to-date information.
Mail a paper return to the right address
Taxpayers should check Where to File for their state on IRS.gov so they mail it to correct address. Taxpayers who mail a tax return will experience a longer wait.
Taxpayers can go to IRS.gov to pay their balance using IRS Direct Pay or another payment option. The electronic payments options are secure and taxpayers receive immediate confirmation. The IRS has options for taxpayers who owe taxes but cannot afford to pay.
Qualified taxpayers who cannot afford to pay their taxes in full can choose to pay their taxes over time through an installment agreement. They can use the Online Payment Agreement application to set up a payment plan. Taxpayers can also request a payment agreement by filing Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. They should download and mail the form to the IRS along with a tax return, IRS bill or notice.