Filing federal tax returns on time by mail

The deadline to file 2020 federal income tax returns is May 17, 2021.

Individuals and businesses affected by winter storms in Texas, Louisiana or Oklahoma can delay filing 2020 returns until June 15. This extension also applies to any other tax-related due dates that occur before June 15, including April quarterly estimated payments and any business taxes. which would otherwise expire on March 15. Taxpayers in other areas have until May 17, 2021 to file their 2020 federal taxes, but this applies only to individuals, not businesses.

If you are requesting an extension on your 2020 tax return, the deadline to file is October 15, 2021. If you received stimulus payments in 2020, they are not taxable and do not reduce your 2021 tax refund.

Where you must file your federal return remains unchanged.

2021 Income Tax Due Dates

Unless your business qualifies for a delay due to winter storms in Texas, Louisiana, or Oklahoma, the tax return due date of April 15, 2021 includes:

  • Sole proprietors and single member LLCs filing Schedule C along with their personal returns
  • Partners, members of multi-member LLCs, and owners of S corporations who file Schedule K-1 for their portion of their business
  • Corporations with fiscal year closing on December 31 that file Form 1120
  • First Quarter Estimated Tax Payments for Individuals and Small Businesses

Tax returns can be filed beginning February 12, 2021.

Mailing your tax return

Individuals, including small business owners, can mail their individual returns (Form 1040 or 1040 SR) to an IRS location based in their state. The IRS provides a state-by-state list of these addresses on its website.

Mailing your tax return takes longer under normal circumstances, and the IRS indicates that processing times are especially delayed during the current public health crisis. The IRS strongly encourages you to file your return electronically.

Mailing addresses for Form 1065 partnership returns, Form 1102 corporate returns, and Form 1120 S corporate returns are provided on a separate IRS webpage.

US Postal Service Tips

The US Postal Service advises taxpayers to be sure to use the correct postage. Weigh your return, or take it to the post office to have it weighed.

Tax returns submitted without sufficient postage will be returned, and that’s just a waste of time.

You can purchase a shipping certificate at the post office to show that you mailed your return on a specific date. Keep the certificate; the post office does not keep copies.

The postmark is what counts when mailing your business statement. Some post offices offer extended hours and late postmarks before tax day.

Electronic filing of your tax return

The IRS encourages taxpayers to use Free File for Forms 1040 or 1040-SR if they qualify.

You can use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file your return if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is $72,000 or less. You can download forms from Free File and fill them out yourself if your AGI is greater than this.

You may qualify for free tax help from the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program if:

  • Your income is $57,000 or less.
  • You are disabled.
  • You have limited English language skills.

You may qualify for the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program (including tax return preparation) if you are age 60 or older.

Many of these sites may be temporarily closed or have limited in-person hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but phone and other support may still be available. Call 800-906-9887 to find out if you can get assistance in person or by phone.

You can also use commercial tax preparation software or a paid preparer to file electronically. You will be charged to prepare the return, but electronic filing is usually included.

Filing and payment of corporate taxes

You must use approved software or a tax professional who is an authorized provider of electronic files if you are filing an income tax return for your corporation or S corporation. This includes LLCs that choose to pay taxes as corporations or S corporations.To

Payment of other business taxes

Making your tax payments online is the best and easiest way to pay. LLC owners, sole proprietors, or partners in partnerships can use one of several IRS electronic payment options, including direct debit from a bank account, credit card, or debit card.

Corporation and partnership returns must use the IRS Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).

Using a private delivery service

You can use a private delivery service, but only certain IRS-approved services are accepted.

IRS lists DHL, FedEx and UPS as designated private delivery services, but only some of the services of these companies are acceptable, including:

  • DHL Express (DHL): DHL Express 9:00 AM, DHL Express 10:30 AM, DHL Express 12:00 PM, DHL Express Worldwide, DHL Express Envelope, DHL Import Express 10:30 AM, DHL Import Express 12:00 PM, DHL Import Express Worldwide
  • Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2 Day, FedEx International Next Flight Out, FedEx International Priority, FedEx International First, FedEx International Economy
  • United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air Early AM, UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air AM, UPS Worldwide Express Plus, UPS Worldwide Express

Submission of an extension request

You can electronically file an extension request or mail it to the IRS. There are two application forms for most circumstances: Form 7004 for corporations and partnerships, and Form 4868 for other types of business and personal returns.

You can get an automatic extension by filing any of these forms.

If you were affected by winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma, or Louisiana, you do not need to request an extension if you plan to file your taxes before June 15. If you want to delay filing until October 15, you will need to request an extension.

Regardless of your income, you can also use Free File to electronically request an extension, which will give you until October 15, 2021 to file a return. To get an extension, you must estimate your tax liability and pay any amount due.

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