IRS Free File and other resources available until Oct. 17 for 2021 tax returns

COVID Tax Tip 2022-86, June 6, 2022

The IRS reminds taxpayers who have not yet filed their 2021 tax return, they should file a complete and accurate return electronically when they are ready rather than wait until the October 17, 2022, extension deadline.

Taxpayers who owe tax – including those who did not request an extension – and have yet to file a 2021 tax return can generally avoid additional penalties and interest by filing the return as soon as possible and paying any balance due. Even if a taxpayer can't afford to immediately pay the taxes they owe, they should still file a tax return as soon as possible to reduce possible penalties. An extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay taxes.

Generally, people who choose not to file a tax return because they didn't earn enough money to be required to file won't receive a penalty if they are owed a refund. But they may miss out on receiving a refund if they don't file. Taxpayers still have time to get their full child tax credit or claim a missing Economic Impact Payment. The IRS advises individuals who still need to file a 2021 tax return to file electronically and, if due a refund, to choose direct deposit.

Here are some of the tools available on to help people with their taxes:

  • IRS Free File and other electronic filing options. Eligible taxpayers can prepare and file their tax return electronically for free through IRS Free File. MilTax is a free tax resource available for the military community, offered through the Department of Defense. There are no income limits. Eligible taxpayers can use MilTax to electronically file a federal tax return and up to three state returns for free. Other electronic filing options include using a free tax return preparation site, commercial software or an authorized e-file provider. Some IRS Free File products are available in Spanish. Filing electronically can also help taxpayers determine their eligibility for the earned income tax creditchild and dependent care credit and child tax credit.
  • Direct deposit for refunds. The fastest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to file electronically and use direct deposit. Taxpayers who do not have a bank account can visit the FDIC website or use the National Credit Union Administration's Credit Union Locator tool for information on where to find a bank or credit union to open an account online.
  • Online payment options. If a taxpayer owes taxes, they should pay as much and as soon as possible to reduce interest and penalties. An extension to file is not an extension to pay. Online Account and IRS Direct Pay allow individuals to securely pay from their checking or savings accounts. Visit for all payment options.
  • Account information and tax records. Individual taxpayers can visit to manage their account. They can take a variety of actions including viewing their balance and payment history, accessing tax records and more.

Some people may have a different deadline to file their tax return:

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