Filing Your Taxes: Overview
Where Can I Get the Form?
Traditionally, you can go to the IRS website “Form and Publications” section:
There you must download and print off the specific forms you need. (Hint: Print off two copies in case you make a calculation mistake or a misprint!)
Where Do I Mail It In?
Fill out the forms and mail to it to the designated Internal Revenue Service Center for the place where you currently reside.
For complete state-by-state IRS listings, see:
This Seems Like A Lot of Work. Isn’t There A Faster Method?
The easiest option, however, is to file your taxes electronically with reputable companies like TurboTax, who offer free filing for 1040EZ forms and simple returns.
Filing your taxes online is faster, it calculates figures for you and easier because your forms will be sent directly to the IRS.
When to File
For 2007 tax returns, the due date for filing is April 15, 2008.
Extensions Within the United States.
You can receive an automatic four-month extension to file your return if by the regular due date you do any of the following.
- File a paper Form 4868
- File Form 4868 by phone or over the Internet. See the instructions for Form 4868.
- Pay part or all of your estimate of tax due electronically by using a credit card. (If you use this option, you do not have to file Form 4868.)
The extension of time to file is automatic, and you will not receive any notice of approval. However, your request for an extension will be denied if it is not made timely. The IRS will inform you of the denial.
You can request an extension beyond the four-month extension by filing Form 2688 or by writing a letter to the IRS. Except in undue hardship cases, this additional extension will be granted only if Form 4868 has already been filed.
Payment of Tax
An extension of time to file does not mean you have an extension of time to pay any tax due. While you do not have to send in any payment of tax due when you file Form 4868 or use an automatic extension, you will be charged interest if you pay the tax after the regular due date (the interest is calculated from the regular due date to the date the tax is paid). You also may be charged a penalty for paying the tax late unless you have reasonable cause for not paying your tax when due. So, when you file for an extension you should also estimate your tax due and pay by the April 15 deadline.
If you are unable to pay the tax your owe or estimate, you may want to file Form 9465 to arrange an installment payment agreement with the IRS that reflects your ability to pay the tax owed.