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It's time to file your federal taxes ... or an extension

While there are options to delay filing a return and paying tax bills past April 15, those options likely will be costly.
It's time to file your federal taxes ... or an extension
Posted at 8:31 AM, Apr 15, 2024

Monday marks the deadline for individuals to file their 2023 federal taxes without facing penalties and late fees. 

If you need more time to file, the Internal Revenue Service says there are options, but utilizing those options could be costly. The IRS said filers can seek an extension that gives them until Oct. 15 to file. Extensions must be requested by tax deadline day. 

The IRS said penalties and interest will increase until the tax balance is paid in full. The IRS also says it can set up payment plans for those struggling to pay back taxes, but again, penalties and interest will apply in those cases. 

The IRS estimates that 19 million Americans will file for extensions this year. As of earlier this month, 101.8 million Americans had filed a tax return, of which 66.8 million garnered a refund. 

The IRS says the average refund check this year has been $3,011, which is up from $2,878 this time a year ago. 

Last year, the IRS said 162 million Americans filed a tax return. 

SEE MORE: Tax day is Monday. Here's how to reduce stress and get your taxes done

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is touting improvements made to the IRS via the Inflation Reduction Act, which provided a boost to the agency's funding. Officials said on Monday that the average wait time this year to reach someone with the IRS has been three minutes, which is down from an average of 28 minutes in 2022. 

The White House said call volume is up 17% to the IRS this year compared to 2023. 

The IRS has been working to hire 87,000 new employees after the agency struggled to answer customer service questions during the pandemic. This comes as the IRS garnered $80 billion in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act passed by Congress in 2022. Of that amount, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that $60 billion will be spent on enforcement.

The additional IRS funding has drawn scrutiny from Republicans who fear the added staff will increase the number of audits on middle-class Americans. The IRS said it intends to keep the audit rate the same for those earning over $400,000 a year.

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