COVID Tax Tip 2020-52, May 6, 2020
The federal income tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15. Taxpayers also have until July 15 to make any federal income tax payments that were originally due on April 15, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount they owe. This extension applies to all taxpayers.
There's no need to file any additional forms to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief.
Taxpayers expecting a refund should file electronically. Many taxpayers used Free File last year. The benefits of filing electronically include:
- It's available online and can be done from home.
Taxpayers can file using tax software from their home computer if they don't qualify for Free File. The bottom line is that filing electronically is much more convenient than filling out and mailing paper tax forms.
- It's safe and secure.
Electronic filing is safe and secure. It uses modern encryption technology to protect tax returns. The IRS continues to work with states and tax industry leaders to protect tax returns from tax-related identity theft. This effort has helped put safeguards in place to make electronic tax filing a safe and secure option.
- It's accurate and easy.
Filing electronically helps taxpayers file a complete and accurate tax return. Taxpayers who fil electronically will receive an acknowledgement from the IRS telling them their return is accepted. If a return is rejected, the acknowledgement says why the IRS rejected the tax return.
- File electronically for free.
Free File is available for eligible taxpayers where they can use online software to file electronically for free. This program is available only on IRS.gov and is for taxpayers who earned less than $69,000 in 2019. Another option, Free File Fillable Forms, is available to all taxpayers regardless of income.
- People who file electronically get their refunds faster.
When taxpayers file electronically and choose direct deposit for their refund, in most cases they can get their money in less than 21 days. If they mail a paper tax return, the refund can take six weeks or longer.
Taxpayers who owe, should file by the due date, and pay as soon as possible. They can schedule their payment electronically online, by phone or using their mobile device and the IRS2Go app. It's always good to pay as much as possible to minimize interest and penalties. The IRS offers a variety of electronic payment options to help taxpayers schedule electronic payments.