Tax Helpers for Last-Minute Filers

Posted by on April 10th, 2018

With tax time just a week away, there’s about a one-in-five chance you are one of the 40 million American taxpayers who haven’t yet filed.

Never fear! Just like last 2017, 2018 contains some calendar quirks that give you a little extra time.

Tax Day is April 17 in 2018 instead of April 15. Why? April 15 falls on a Sunday, and the Washington, D.C. holiday Emancipation Day is celebrated Monday, April 16, so the Internal Revenue Service’s main offices get that day off, too. That means everyone gets two extra days.

If more time isn’t enough, The IRS has tax help, publications and information at www.irs.gov to help last-minute filers, including instructions on how to request an automatic six-month filing extension.

Here’s another helper: You may not be aware, but the IRS website also provides free copies of your past returns.

That’s great if you’re feverishly making last-minute changes, and can’t quite remember what you did last year to get that great deduction.

Generally, copies are available for the current year and six previous years.There are a few ways to get them.

ONLINE: Visit and click on Order a Tax Return or Transcript. You’ll often need a current credit card and a verifiable cellphone number to complete this option, so don’t be surprised if you get re-routed to one of the less instant options. In that case, you may want to file for an extension.

BY PHONE: Call 1-800-908-9946 and follow the prompts.

BY POST: Transcripts are mailed to your home address free of charge. Send completed Form 4506-T to the address in the instructions. These forms are available at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-829-3676. Copies of current transcripts are mailed to your home address free of charge. Allow 5 to 10 business days for delivery

FOR EXACT COPIES of a filed and processed return, including attachments and W-2s: Complete Form 4506 and mail it to the address in the instructions. Include a check or money order for $57 payable to the United States Treasury. Allow 60 days to receive copies.

The IRS expects to receive about 18 million individual income tax returns in the week leading up to April 17, with about 16 million filed electronically.