What time zone does the IRS use to decide if I filed on time?

esandberg Member Posts: 4 Newcomer
edited October 2023 in General

I live on the west coast, but where is the IRS based. Do I need to have my taxes done by midnight on the east cost?

I'm trying to plan when I'll be able to submit everything and don't know if I need to cancel plans to file before the deadline.

Thanks for any help!



  • MatthewD
    MatthewD FreeTaxUSA Team Posts: 247


    That is an important question to get answered this time of year or in April.

    The deadline, set by the IRS, for filing a tax return is midnight for the time zone you are in. This is true for mailed returns or e-filed returns. When FreeTaxUSA e-files a tax return we place a timestep in your electronic file sent to the IRS. That timestamp is based on the time zone you are in. If you press the Send button for e-file before midnight, then your return is filed on time. In your case, make sure you press that Send button before 12 midnight Pacific Time. I recommend you give yourself some time though. Don't wait for the very last minute.

    Also, the IRS allows for a period of time to correct a rejection error and still be considered timely. This is called the Perfection Period. You have several days to correct the rejection and get your return accepted. If for some reason you can't get it corrected, print the rejection error and mail in your return with an explanation and the rejection. Generally, the IRS will take this into consideration.

  • taxestaxestaxes
    taxestaxestaxes Member Posts: 4 Newcomer

    If you do not owe any taxes, there is no penalty for filing your federal return late. I'm assuming this would also be true for most state returns but you should double check. You will want to file your return eventually as there is a statute of limitations for claiming a refund. In addition, the IRS may file a substitute return on your behalf which may show that you owe taxes, and therefore also penalties and interest. It's best to file as soon as you can and get it over with.