IRS spokesman Bill Brunson says you can go the antiquated route, using a paper form that needs to be postmarked before midnight, or speed up the process with a few clicks on the agency’s website.
Brunson says, “All you need to do is go to IRS.gov and click on the Free File icon where you can choose to request an extension automatically for an additional six months online at no charge.” You have until midnight to make the request, which will push your federal tax deadline back to October 15th. While it used to be a circus-like atmosphere on April 15th, with procrastinators rushing to the post office late at night, most of those offices now keep regular business hours on tax deadline day.
Brunson notes e-filing has all but eliminated that urgency and Iowa is one of the nation’s e-filing leaders.”The Internal Revenue Service expects more than 1.4-million returns for this reporting period and of that 1.4 million, 1.3-million are expected to be electronically filed,” Brunson says. “That’s a rate of 93 percent of Iowans who will choose to electronically file their tax return.”
E-filers also have until midnight to complete the tax task, which Brunson says is more accurate, since the program won’t let you make a math error. He touts another benefit.
“Your electronic return is secure in the sense that, if you have a refund coming, you can choose to have it directly deposited in your savings or checking account, and that item won’t get lost or stolen like an old-fashioned paper check,” Brunson says. “You can expect to get a refund from the Internal Revenue Service in 21 days or less.” E-filing saves the IRS a bundle. Processing a paper return costs $3.54 on average, while an e-filed return costs more like 18 cents.