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Instructions for Form 1040-EZ

Filing the Return(p26)


Due Date(p26)

File Form 1040EZ by April 18, 2017. The due date is April 18, instead of April 15, because April 15 is a Saturday and April 17 is the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia (which changes your filing deadline even if you do not live in the District of Columbia). 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?(p26)

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. Instead of filing Form 4868, you can apply for an automatic extension by making an electronic payment by the due date of your return.
An automatic 6-month extension to file doesn't 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?(p26)

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. (p26)
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 will be $205 or the amount of any tax you owe, whichever is smaller.
Late payment of tax.(p26)
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 isn't 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. (p26)
In addition to any other penalties, there is a penalty of $5,000 for filing a frivolous return. A frivolous return is one that doesn't 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?(p26)
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?(p26)

If you e-file your return, there is no need to mail it. However, if you choose to mail it, filing instructions and addresses are at the end of these instructions.
Private delivery services.(p26)
If you choose to mail your return, you can use only the following IRS-designated private delivery services to meet the timely mailing treated 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.