Where do I mail my federal tax return?

Tax Day is just around the corner and depending where you live and which tax form you are sending the IRS has different locations to send paper returns.

Where do I mail my federal tax return?

The IRS gave taxpayers a little more time in 2021 to file a tax return but that extra time is just about up. You will need to file and pay any taxes owed on or before 17 May. But if you still need more time, you can file for an extension by the same date.

In order to get your tax refund sooner, and any stimulus money missing from the first, second and/or third stimulus checks, the IRS recommends that you file electronically and get your refund through direct deposit. But if you have to send your 2020 tax return via post be advised that due to staffing shortages it could take several weeks longer to process your return.

Where to mail paper tax returns

Depending on where you live, which form you are filing and whether you are including a payment or not the IRS has different addresses where you will need to send your papers, and payment if necessary. The IRS provides a handy link to where you can check where your documents need to go broken down by category. You can check by state or outside the 50 states and the District of Columbia for Forms 1040, 1040-SR, 1040ES, 1040V, amended returns 1040-X, and extensions 4868. Or you can check where to send your documents by specific return type.

How can I check my refund?

The IRS offers a couple ways that you can check the status of your refund. You an use the agency's Where's My Refund? online tool or you can download the IRS2Go app to check your refund status.

Some taxpayers given automatic extension

The IRS takes into consideration that circumstances may be more difficult for some taxpayers giving certain groups more time to file without requesting an extension. Though our advice would always be to file as soon as you can gather together all the necessary paperwork.

Those taxpayers “serving in a combat zone or a qualified hazardous duty area” or those “living outside of the United States”, should be aware that they may be subject to different rules for when they need to file.

As well the IRS gives taxpayers a little more time to file in areas hit by severe weather and where FEMA has made a disaster declaration. Check the link to the IRS press release below for your state to see how it affects your filing in 2021.

How to file for a tax extension from the IRS

Individuals who would like an extension can do so by submitting “Form 4868” on or before 17 May according to the IRS. This can be done through your tax professional, tax software, using the IRS’ Free File or by mail. If you choose to send the application for a tax extension by mail, you will need to fill out Form 4868 on paper, it's less than a page, and have it postmarked on or before 17 May, 2021. You will want proof that you mailed it in time avoid a late-filing penalty from the IRS.

Beware, you still need to pay any taxes due by 17 May

Even though you ask for more time to file your tax return that doesn’t mean you get an extension on any underpayment of taxes during the year. You will need to estimate any money that you owe to IRS and pay that sum by 17 May, failure to do so will incur interest and penalties. If you are unsure about how to make an estimate, always contact a tax professional.