April 15 is rapidly approaching,

and with it, the sense of dread for those of us who have not yet prepared or filed our income tax returns. Individuals and business spend an estimated six billion hours each year fulfilling the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code with respect to filing income taxes. For those of you who like to wait until the very last minute, here are some deadlines to keep in mind for calendar year taxpayers:

  • A return or payment addressed to the proper office, mailed by U.S. mail or designated delivery service, and postmarked on or before its due date is deemed to have been filed or paid as of the date of the postmark. For a list of acceptable designated delivery services, see the instructions on your Form 1040 or Form 1040A.
  • If you choose to file your return electronically, you gain a few extra hours to file. The e-filed return and payment must be submitted by midnight of April 15.
  • If April 15 falls on a weekend or legal holiday, you have until the next business day following April 15 to get your return and payment postmarked and in the mail. If you e-file, you have until midnight of the next business day to submit your return and payment.
  • If you are unable to prepare and file your income tax return by the April 15 deadline, you may file Form 4868 for an automatic six-month extension of time to file. However, this is not an extension of time to submit payment. You must submit a “proper estimate” of the tax payment owed along with Form 4868 by April 15.

For additional information about filing your income tax return, visit https://www.irs.gov/publications/p54/ch01.html.