Filing Last Minute: You Can Still Get Your Taxes in Without Running to the Post Office

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Taxpayers who would normally be scrambling to get their returns finished by Tax Day have a little more breathing room again this year. Although the deadline hasn’t been extended, it is three days later than usual — on April 18, as opposed to April 15. April 15 falls on a Friday, so taxpayers have until the following Monday to file their return.

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If you don’t meet the tax deadline without securing an extension, you should expect no mercy from the IRS — fines, penalties, interest and scary letters should be expected following a missed deadline. If you have yet to file your tax return, here’s what you need to know.

Your Local Post Office Might Be Open Late… If You Need It

There was a time when rushing to the post office late at night on Tax Day for a hand-stamped postmark that proved you beat the clock was an annual American ritual. Now, the era of people scrambling to snail-mail their taxes at the 11th hour is largely in the past. 

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The Internet, it turns out, is starting to catch on. 

Some post offices still extend their hours on Tax Day, but many others do not. In the cases that they do, it’s unlikely to be midnight, as was standard in the bad old days of stamp licking. 

If you live in an outpost without reliable broadband Internet, or if you just don’t trust something you didn’t fold and put in an envelope, consider the following tips. They could save you a bunch of headaches when you drive to the post office to mail your taxes. 

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Or, consider filing online. It’s easier, more secure, gets you your refund more quickly, and the IRS prefers it. It prefers it so much, in fact, that you can file right through the IRS website. You can even do it for free, and depending on your income, you can do it for free with a full-service experience that you would pay for elsewhere. 

Submit Your Returns at No Cost With Free File

The IRS’ Free File service does just what the name implies — lets you file your taxes for free, depending on your adjusted gross income. There are two options:

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You’ll need all the same stuff that’s required no matter how you file, like health insurance and mortgage statements, last year’s AGI, your W2s, 1099s, Social Security benefits and proof of any other income, including unemployment payments. Remember, file on time even if you can’t pay your bill. You can request an extension by Tax Day if you need more time to file, but remember that this just a grace period. You won’t pay any less. Paying your taxes is never fun — but in 2022, it shouldn’t require a trip to the post office. 

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