The deadline to file your federal tax return is near. I.R.S. spokesman Dave Stewart says if you know you are not going to make the April 15th deadline to get an extension with form 4868 available on the agency's website. He reminds that the automatic six-month extension is for all the paperwork, not any payment owed. Stewart says requesting an extension can help you avoid stiff penalties. He adds you can file your federal return for free and get many of your questions answered via their website. The deadline for filing Virginia state tax returns is May 1st.