Over the past few years, the IRS e-file system has experienced significant growth. Just last week, the IRS stated that 2011 resulted in more than 101 million tax returns being e-filed instead of being sent by mail. This was an IRS e-filing record, and represents an eight percent increase from 2010 (although the end tally will be higher since many filed last minute and others have yet to file at all).
e-filing your tax return again has many benefits over paper filings. First, it ensures a speedy refund (if the IRS owes you money) with the option for the IRS to deposit your tax refund directly into your checking/banking account. Second, the IRS and most states will normally send you a confirmation email which serves as evidence that they actually received the tax return. Third, tax returns are processed much faster, which serves as the major reason refunds are much faster.
There are several reasons why a taxpayer might miss the deadline for filing his tax return. The deadline for filing your 2012 tax return is April 15th, 2013, with the tax filing deadline extended to October 15th, 2013 for those who requested a filing extension. There are exceptions though. Military service members stationed outside of the country or taxpayers who live and work outside of the US are allowed two additional months past the April deadline to file a return without an extension. An extension can be requested after that point, allowing an additional four months to file and pay taxes owed.
If I Didn’t File by April 15th, Can I Still e-file?
The answer is yes, but you can only e-file up until October 15th, 2013. October 15th is the tax filing extension deadline for 2012 tax returns. If you forget to file by 10/15/2012, then you cannot e-file. Instead, you will need to send the IRS your tax return by mail. After the October 15th deadline (normally just the tax filing extension deadline), electronic filing is not an option as the IRS shuts down the IRS e-file system in preparation for next year's tax season.
What If I e-filed Before the Deadline, But It Wasn’t Accepted by the IRS?
If you e-filed your 2012 and it was not accepted by the IRS, you normally have five business days to e-file it (after it was fixed), for the IRS to consider it received on time.