By April 15, 2013 you must file your return or request an extension, which pushes the deadline back to October 15th
Just to get specific about it, filing a return involves submitting to the IRS either Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ and all the attendant forms and schedules that your return requires. You can either e-file your return or mail in a paper return. Note that if you are filing a paper return, your return must be postmarked by April 15th in order for it to be considered on time.
Filing an extension involves filing Form 4868 [Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return], which will give you an extra six months to file. This means that your new deadline becomes October 15, 2013.
Note that this only gives you an extension of time to file, not an extension of time to pay. When you file Form 4868, you have to estimate and pay your tax liability.
April 15th is also the last chance to get a refund from a 2009 tax return. So if you missed filing for a couple years this could be a great opportunity to score a little extra refund money.
If you do end up requesting an extension, then October 15th becomes your new deadline. This is also the last opportunity to e-file a 2012 return. After this date the e-file system shuts down. You can still file a 2012 return, but you will have to paper file it.
Insider’s tip: even if you don’t request an extension, you can still e-file your 2012 return anytime between April 15th and October 15th, and if you get a refund back, you won’t be charged any penalties or interest.
You can file your 2012 return right here on RapidTax.
Photo via StockMonkeys.com on Flickr.