IRS Tax News

IRS reminds taxpayers of upcoming filing extension deadline; Free File remains open until Nov. 17

IR-2022-179, October 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers today that those who requested an extension of time to file their 2021 income tax return that the deadline is Monday, October 17. IRS Free File remains open until November 17 for those who still need to file their 2021 tax returns. This includes those who qualify for the Child Tax Credit, Recovery Rebate Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit but haven't yet filed a 2021 tax return to claim them.

IRS Free File is a public-private partnership between the IRS and tax preparation software industry leaders who provide their brand-name products for free. There are eight Free File products available in English and two in Spanish.

IRS Free File provides two ways for taxpayers to prepare and file their 2021 federal income tax return online for free:

  • IRS Partner Sites. Traditional IRS Free File provides free online tax preparation and filing options on IRS partner sites. Individual taxpayers whose adjusted gross income (AGI) is $73,000 or less qualify for any IRS Free File partner offers. Free File lets individuals electronically prepare and file their federal income tax online using guided tax preparation.
  • Free Fillable Forms. For taxpayers whose AGI is greater than $73,000, there's the Free File Fillable Forms option. It provides electronic federal tax forms that can be filled out and filed online for free. To use this option, taxpayers should know how to prepare their own tax return.

Always start at IRS.gov:

  • Use the IRS Free File Lookup Tool to narrow the list of providers or the Browse All Offers page to see a full list of providers.
  • Follow the link to the chosen IRS Free File provider's website.

Taxpayers who requested the six-month filing extension should complete their tax returns and file on or before the October 17 deadline.

The IRS Free File program gives eligible taxpayers an opportunity to file their taxes and claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, their full Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit or other valuable credits for which they qualify. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the fastest way to get a tax refund is to file electronically and choose direct deposit.

Prior year returns can only be filed electronically by registered tax preparers for the two previous tax years. Otherwise, taxpayers must print, sign and mail prior year returns.

The IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications lists qualified local preparers.

Free File to stay open until Nov. 17 to help refund filers eligible for stimulus, Child Tax Credit, EITC

Starting this week, the Internal Revenue Service is sending letters to more than 9 million individuals and families who appear to qualify for a variety of key tax benefits but did not claim them by filing a 2021 federal income tax return. Many in this group may be eligible to claim some or all of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax credits depending on their personal and family situation. The special reminder letters, which will be arriving in mailboxes over the next few weeks, are being sent to people who appear to qualify for the Child Tax Credit, Recovery Rebate Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit but haven't yet filed a 2021 return to claim them. The letter, printed in both English and Spanish, provides a brief overview of each of these three credits.

These and other tax benefits were expanded under last year's American Rescue Plan Act and other recent legislation. Even so, the only way to get the valuable benefits is to file a 2021 tax return.

Often, individuals and families can get these expanded tax benefits, even if they have little or no income from a job, business or other source. This means that many people who don't normally need to file a tax return should do so this year, even if they haven't been required to file in recent years.

People can file a tax return even if they haven't yet received their letter. The IRS reminds people that there's no penalty for a refund claimed on a tax return filed after the regular April 2022 tax deadline. The fastest and easiest way to get a refund is to file an accurate return electronically and choose direct deposit.

To help people claim these benefits, without charge, Free File will remain open for an extra month this year, until November 17, 2022. Available only at IRS.gov/freefile, Free File enables people whose incomes are $73,000 or less to file a return online for free using brand-name software. Free File is sponsored by the Free File Alliance, a partnership between the IRS and the tax-software industry.

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