U.S. Individual Income Tax Part 7 When, How, and Where to File

U.S. Individual Income Tax Part 7 When, How, and Where to File


After the previous introductions, you must have a better understanding of U.S. individual income tax. This article will answer the next key question–when, how, and where to file the tax return.


  1. When to File


If you are a calendar year filer and your tax year ends on December 31, the due date for filing your federal individual income tax return is generally April 15 of each year. If you use a fiscal year (tax year ending on the last day of any month other than December), your return is due on or before the 15th day of the fourth month after the close of your fiscal year. If your due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is moved to the next business day. For the 2019 tax return, the due date is July 15, 2020.


Your return is considered filed on time if the envelope is properly addressed, has enough postage, is postmarked, and is deposited in the mail by the due date. If you file electronically, the date and time in your time zone when your return is transmitted controls whether your return is filed timely. You will later receive an electronic acknowledgement that the IRS has accepted your electronically filed return.


If you cannot file by the due date of your return, you should request an extension of time to file. To receive an automatic 6-month extension of time to file your return, you can file Form 4868. File your extension request by the due date of your return. An extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay so you will owe interest if the tax you owe is not paid by the original due date of your return. You may also be subject to a late-payment penalty on any tax not paid by the original due date of your return.


  1. How to File


You may want to file your return electronically. You will usually receive your refund within 3 weeks of the date when the IRS receives your return, even faster if you elect to have it directly deposited into your checking or savings account. Kaizen could help you file your tax return electronically. If you mail a paper Form 1040, it can take six to eight weeks to process. Be sure to attach related schedules and forms behind your return.



You can sign your tax return electronically by using a Self-Select PIN, which serves as your digital signature when using tax preparation software, or a Practitioner PIN when using an Electronic Return Originator (ERO).


  1. Where to File


When you e-file a return, since it is electronically transmitted, you do not need to worry about sending it to the right area. However, when filing a paper return, send it to the address indicated in the instructions for the form you are filing.