Good news for procrastinators. The IRS is giving everyone a few extra days to complete their 2015 federal income returns. According to the IRS in their Topic 301 – When, How and Where to File:
Generally, April 15 of each year is the due date for filing your federal individual income tax return. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day (for example, Friday, April 15, 2016, is Emancipation Day, so tax year 2015 returns are due Monday, April 18, 2016. Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts observe Patriots’ Day on April 18, 2016, so they will have until Tuesday, April 19, 2016 to file). Your return is considered filed timely if the envelope is properly addressed and postmarked by the due date.
Extensions to file – If you cannot file by the due date of your return, then you can request an extension of time to file. To receive an automatic 6-month extension of time to file your return, you can file Form 4868 by the due date of your return. See Topic 304 [see below] for more information. However, an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. You will owe interest on any past-due tax and you may be subject to a late-payment penalty if the payment of tax is not made by the original due date of your return [and the amount of taxes you owe exceeds 10% of your total tax liability] .
Topic 304 – Extensions of Time to File Your Tax Return
There are three ways to request an automatic extension of time to file your U.S. individual income tax return. The request for extension of time to file must be made by the regular due date of your return to avoid the penalty for filing late. An extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.
You may file your extension in any one of three ways listed below:
- Pay all or part of your estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or a credit or debit card. You will receive a confirmation number for your records.
- E-file Form 4868 (PDF), Application For Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Tax Return, using your personal computer or through a tax professional.
- File a paper Form 4868 and enclose payment of your estimate of tax due.
If you file the Form 4868 electronically, be sure to have a copy of your prior year’s return; you will be asked to provide your prior year’s adjusted gross income (AGI) amount for verification purposes. Once you file, you will receive an electronic acknowledgement that the IRS has accepted your filing. Keep this for your records.
Out of the Country – You are allowed two extra months (generally until June 15) to file your return and pay any tax due without requesting an extension if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, and on the regular due date of your return you are either living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico, and your main place of business or post of duty is outside of the United States and Puerto Rico, or in military or naval service on duty outside of the United States and Puerto Rico.