The tax filing deadline this year is April 18.
If a tax filer is owed a refund, they have up to 3 years to file and get that refund back. Free software will be available until October 16, 2017 for filers with an adjusted gross income of $64,000 or less. AGI does not include money contributed to tax deductible retirement plans or certain other adjustments. Your 2015 AGI can be found on line 37 of your Form 1040 tax return.
For free file software options visit www.irs.gov and click the “freefile” link.
If you are getting a refund there is no need to file for an extension.
Filing an Extension
If a taxpayer owes money & doesn’t file & pay on time there are penalty fees. Two fees to be aware of are the late payment fee and the filing after the deadline fee.
Late payment fee: Late payment penalty is usually ½ of 1% of any tax not paid by deadline. It is charged for each month or part of a month the tax is unpaid. Maximum 25%. You can avoid this penalty if you pay at least 90% of amount owed by deadline (this gives you an extension) and then pay the rest by the extension deadline – October 16, 2017.
Filing Late: Failure to file penalty aka penalty for filing after the deadline is usually 5% of the amount due for each month or part of month your return is late. Maximum penalty is 25%. After 60 days the minimum penalty is $205 or the balance on the return whichever is smaller.
Eliminate or Reduce Fess
If you can pay some or all of your tax liability go to https://www.irs.gov/payments and find out about payment options. They include paying electronically (no fees), installment plans, or paying by credit card.
If you cannot pay any of the amount owed, you can still request to extend the deadline to Oct 16, 2017. You can either use free file software or complete Form 4868. More information is available at https://www.irs.gov/filing/extension-of-time-to-file-your-tax-return Filing an extension will eliminate the failure to file penalty, but not necessarily the late payment fees.