With April 18 behind them, the IRS has some advice for tax clients who missed yesterday’s filing deadline.

First, they should file and pay owed taxes as soon as possible to minimize penalties and interest. For taxpayers who are due a refund, there’s also no penalty for filing a late return.

If taxpayers owe but can’t pay in full, they should pay as much as they can when they file their return. They can use the IRS’s electronic payment options, or the free IRS Direct Pay tool from a checking or savings account.

Those who need more time to pay can apply for a direct debit installment agreement through an Online Payment Agreement. Taxpayers who don’t use the online tool can apply on Form 9465.

Taxpayers who aren’t required to file may still get a refund if they had taxes withheld from wages or they qualified for certain tax credits. Those who don’t file their return within three years could lose their right to the refund.

The IRS also noted that nearly everyone can use Free File to e-file federal taxes. Taxpayers whose income was $64,000 or less can use free brand-name tax software; those who made more than $64,000 can use Free File Fillable Forms.

The IRS will send electronic confirmation when it receives the tax return and issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.

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Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.