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Less reason to "panic" if you're due a refund.


Here's how it was explained to me, several years back when I mailed my return at 10:30 p.m. on the 15th, and later realized that because I hadn't gone to one of the P.O. branches where the mail would be picked up at midnight, my return was going to be postmarked at least a day late.

If you're due a refund, and your return is a little late, you lose in the following small way:

If the IRS is slow in processing your return, and you receive your refund later than you're "supposed" to, they will normally pay you interest on that amount, on a monthly basis. So if you're a day late, you could lose a month's worth of interest.

The rules may have changed by now, but again that was my experience.

The worst that can happen is, your return is ultimately rejected, so when you do finally submit it, it will be a week or so late.

For "complete peace of mind", you could file now for an automatic extension. It would be a bad idea to submit a paper 1040 now, before you know whether your e-filing will be accepted, since it would probably hold up your refund; but as far as I know, the extension request and your e-file could arrive at the same time (or in any order) and not "raise a red flag".

If you owed the IRS a balance, there would be penalties and interest to "worry" about -- but they would be computed automatically and you would be billed.

The bottom line, in your case, since you're expecting a refund, is -- don't sweat it!

(I'm sure if my amateur advice is incorrect -- especially "seriously incorrect" -- someone will point it out.)

Hope that helps,
Phooley in Phoenix
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