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Instructions for Form 1040-EZ

Filing the Return


Due Date

File Form 1040EZ by April 15, 2015. If you file after this date, you may have to pay interest and penalties, discussed later in this Section 4.
If you were serving in, or in support of, the U.S. Armed Forces in a designated combat zone or a contingency operation, you may be able to file later. See Pub. 3 for details.

What if You Cannot File on Time?

You can get an automatic 6-month extension to file your return if, no later than the date your return is due, you file Form 4868. For details, see Form 4868.
An automatic 6-month extension to file does not extend the time to pay your tax. If you do not pay your tax by the original due date of your return, you will owe interest on the unpaid tax and may owe penalties. See Form 4868.
If you make a payment with your extension request, see the instructions for line 9 in Section 3, earlier.

What if You File or Pay Late?

We can charge you interest and penalties on the amount you owe.
We will charge you interest on taxes not paid by their due date, even if an extension of time to file is granted. We will also charge you interest on penalties imposed for failure to file, negligence, fraud, substantial valuation misstatements, substantial understatements of tax, and reportable transaction understatements. Interest is charged on the penalty from the due date of the return (including extensions).


Late filing.
If you do not file your return by the due date (including extensions), the penalty is usually 5% of the amount due for each month or part of a month your return is late, unless you have a reasonable explanation. If you do, include it with your return. The penalty can be as much as 25% of the tax due. The penalty is 15% per month, up to a maximum of 75%, if the failure to file is fraudulent. If your return is more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty could be as much as the amount of any tax you owe.
Late payment of tax.
If you pay your taxes late, the penalty is usually 1/2 of 1% of the unpaid amount for each month or part of a month the tax is not paid. The penalty can be as much as 25% of the unpaid amount. It applies to any unpaid tax on the return. This penalty is in addition to interest charges on late payments.
Frivolous return.
In addition to any other penalties, there is a penalty of $5,000 for filing a frivolous return. A frivolous return is one that does not contain information needed to figure the correct tax or shows a substantially incorrect tax because you take a frivolous position or desire to delay or interfere with the tax laws. This includes altering or striking out the preprinted language above the space where you sign. For a list of positions identified as frivolous, see Notice 2010-33, which is on page 609 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2010-17 at
Are there other penalties?
Yes. There are penalties for negligence, substantial understatement of tax, reportable transaction understatements, filing an erroneous refund claim, and fraud. Criminal penalties may be imposed for willful failure to file, tax evasion, making a false statement, or identity theft. See Pub. 17 for details.

Where Do You File?

See the last page of these instructions.
Private delivery services.
If you e-file your return, there is no need to mail it. See the e-file page earlier, or for more information. However, if you choose to mail it, you can use only the following IRS-designated private delivery services to meet the timely mailing as timely filing/paying rule for tax returns and payments.
For more information, go to and enter private delivery service in the search box. The search results will direct you to the IRS mailing address to use if you are using a private delivery service. You will also find any updates to the list of designated private delivery services. The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.