How to File Taxes if the E-File Deadline Has Passed

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The deadline to e-file your tax return is usually October 15, a few months after the original April 15 filing date. If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) e-file deadline has passed, there are still several online and offline resources you can take advantage of which will allow you to file your taxes. However, the IRS will not accept an electronic return after the October 15 deadline, and any returns received after the April 15 deadline will still be subject to penalties and interest.

Things You'll Need

  • Envelope
  • Stamp
  • Computer
  • Phone
  • W-2s, 1099s
  • Bank account number
  • Bank routing number
  • Social security numbers

Gather Social Security numbers for everyone listed on the return, all 1099s and W-2s from the previous year and receipts for all your deductions. Also gather bank account numbers if you prefer a direct deposit to a check.

Go to the IRS website ( and print the forms, schedules, instructions and attachments needed to complete your tax return. If you prefer, you can complete your return online via a commonly-available software program. Remember, you can complete the return online but cannot send it electronically because the deadline for e-file has passed. You will need to print the return.

Mail the tax return to your local IRS processing center. If you are unsure which center processes your return, check the IRS website for information. The IRS will always process a mailed-in return after the deadline. Just be advised that your right to an IRS refund expires three years from the due date of the original return.

Allow four to six weeks for the processing of your tax return. Although this is a general time frame, the IRS reserves the right to request additional information, which could delay the processing of your return. You can check the status of your mailed-in return on the IRS website or call the agency toll free at 1-800-829-1040.

Call the IRS to learn when your fiscal year begins and ends. The April 15 deadline, the October 15 e-file deadline, and the January 16 start date for the filing of federal tax returns are based on the general tax calendar. Employers and others who pay excise tax may be considered fiscal-year filers and thus have return due dates that differ from the due dates of most taxpayers.

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