5 options for down-to-the-wire tax filers
April 17th, 2012
12:48 PM ET

5 options for down-to-the-wire tax filers

Still haven't filed your tax returns? Americans have until midnight Tuesday to send them in, and even the worst of procrastinators still have time and opportunities to meet the deadline. Here are five ways to do it:

1) Did you make under $57,000? File electronically, with software assistance, free:

Electronically filing federal and state returns with tax software isn't just swift – it can be free for people whose adjusted gross income is $57,000 or less. Fifteen companies are offering their tax software for federal returns through the IRS’s website. Some other restrictions – such as age, state and military status – may apply, depending on the company. Some of these companies support free filing for state tax returns; some offer state service for a fee.

2) Made more than $57,000? File electronically for free, without software assistance:

If you made too much money to qualify for the software assistance, you still can file electronically for free. The IRS offers "Fillable Forms," which are an electronic version of the paper IRS forms. Anyone can file these electronically with no cost. The catch is that it's similar to filling out paper forms – you need to know what you're doing. No software assistance here.

3) Buy software to file electronically:

If you made too much for option No. 1 and you don't have the confidence for option No. 2, you can buy tax preparation software from a variety of companies at a store or online. File by midnight, and you're set.

4) Mail paper returns at post offices with late hours:

If you prefer the paper route, you might be able to find a post office that will be open later than usual. Check USPS.com for more information.

5) File for an extension:

If you can't get your all of your tax information together in time, file for an extension by midnight, either electronically or by mail. This will give you until October 15 to file a return.

Before you do file for an extension, know that you’re filing for an extension to file, not an extension to pay. On the extension form, you'll be asked to estimate your tax liability and pay that amount. HLN money expert Clark Howard has information on this and other tips - including that you should file if even you currently don’t have the money to pay - on HLNTV.com.

More tax-day news from CNNMoney

CNNMoney: 8 tax apps for filers on the go

Post by:
Filed under: Taxes
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Phil Spectre

    I don't even remember the last time I paid taxes. They stop bugging you after awhile.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Yea. The IRS doesn't like doing audits in the fed's maximum-security prisons.

      April 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mittens

    I filed for an extension on about hundred million I have stashed in overseas offshore accounts. That way I don't have to let the American people see how I avoid paying taxes on the millions in profits I made shutting down companies! I like to call it "restructuring" 😉

    April 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barack

      That's a very decietful way to get out of paying your fair share. The American people will hold you accountable for stashing taxable income worth hundreds of millions in offshore accounts.

      April 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kerensa


    April 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    -OMG, I had no idea they were due today.
    -My dog ate my 1040A.
    -The mailbox is already full.
    -I don't have time..I'm still at work.
    -Deduct what from line 20?
    -That's my amount due? DUE? Oh sh!t

    April 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MrRules

    As I sit here writing my checks to mail before Midnight! Never would I send it earlier. I appreciate the laughs. It stopped my tears from flowing as I was writing the checks and the sound of a toilet flushing in my head.

    April 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mammy

    Black people don't pay taxes.

    April 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tommie

      Who told you that? and I guess you believe it. You might have a point. Those Black persons who are without jobs have no taxes to pay. But guess what–you have persons who have jobs and businesses and they don't pay taxes either. Take your medicine.

      April 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nature Boy

    I pull the blinds then I take my clothes off
    Dance around the house like nature boy
    My genitalia and pectoral muscles
    aren't quite what I would like them to be
    But you don't see me
    No one can see me

    I pull my blinds
    Fill out my income tax form
    Pen in hand I write so legibly
    I have my kitty. His name is Allowishus,
    I stroke him stroke him stroke him
    stroke him stroke him
    But you don't see me
    No one should see me

    I pull the blinds
    For the sun glares off my tele and I find it quite so irritating
    I have my videos-loads of Ren and Stimpy
    Bottom-a bit of p0rnography
    But you don't see me
    No one should see me

    April 17, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. _ I.R.S. _

    ... We know who you are now Mary, you will be hearing from us shortly.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |