You missed the tax deadline. Now what?

FILE-U.S. Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 1040 Individual Income Tax forms appear in a photo. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

With the April 18 tax deadline quickly approaching, many taxpayers are scrambling to file their returns on time.

But if you miss the deadline, it’s not all bleak, and there are options. 

The IRS allows you to submit a six-month extension to file your tax return.

To request an extension, taxpayers must fill out Form 4868, which gives them until October 16 to file their tax return, but it doesn’t mean you get an extension to pay taxes owed. The form can be found using the IRS Free File service.

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The IRS notes filing your federal tax return by April 18 can help you avoid paying interest and penalties

Extra time is available for people filing tax returns and paying taxes they owe, including disaster victims, military service members, and taxpayers living overseas.

Taxpayers are always encouraged by the IRS to file their returns on time, but the agency explains that some filing after the deadline could be eligible for penalty relief.

To qualify for this option, an individual has to have a history of filing and paying their taxes on time for three years. For more information, visit

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.