Getting a Tax Filing Extension

Your life is busy and deadlines can be hard to meet. April 15th is on a Sunday this year and Monday is a holiday, so the tax deadline is pushed back to April 17th. Whether you just can’t get organized or all your tax information hasn’t come in, you might just need more time to get those tax returns filed by the deadline, even with those extra two days.

 

Not ready? Not a problem! You can get an automatic six-month extension to file your taxes.

 

Two things to know if you’re not ready to file your taxes by April 17th:

 

  1. Requesting an Extension

 

Individual taxpayers use IRS Form 4868 to request an automatic extension to file their federal income tax return. An extension can be filed on the IRS website, e-filed using approved tax software, or in paper form. Paper forms must be postmarked or date-stamped before midnight of the due date.

 

Requesting an extension to file your state taxes varies based on where you live. Check your state’s tax website for instructions and details.

 

  1. What to Do if You Owe

 

You have to estimate your tax liability and figure out your tax withheld and/or paid quarterly to prepare your extension request. If you will owe more tax than you’ve already paid in, the balance due must be paid with your extension request. Failure to pay will result in an underpayment penalty and interest on the unpaid amount, accrued daily until it’s paid. That really adds up.

 

If you are getting a refund, your extension is automatically approved. But you still have to wait until your return is filed to get your tax refund.

 

Need more details about estimating your 2017 tax liability and getting a tax filing extension? Go to the IRS website and your state tax website. Need more guidance? Consult a qualified tax professional.

Can’t Make the Tax Deadline? Help is Here!

April 15th is on a Saturday this year and Monday is a holiday, so the tax deadline is pushed back to April 18th. Three extra days! Four extra days if you live in Massachusetts or Maine. But what if you’re still not ready to file?

 

Whatever your reason, the IRS gives you an automatic six-month extension to file. That’s a reprieve to file, not to pay. More about that later.

 

If you’re not ready to file by April 18th you need to know two things:

 

  1. How Do I Get an Extension?

 

Individual taxpayers use IRS Form 4868 to request an automatic extension to file their federal income tax return. Businesses and estates use different forms but the process is essentially the same.

 

An extension can be filed on the IRS’ website, e-filed using approved tax software, or in paper form. All you need are your name, address, and tax ID number. There are also spaces for your estimated tax liability, taxes paid in, and any amount due.

 

Paper forms must be postmarked or date-stamped before midnight of the due date.

 

  1. What If I Owe?

 

If you will owe more tax than you’ve already paid, the balance due must be paid with your extension request. Failure to pay will result in an underpayment penalty and interest on the unpaid amount, accrued daily until it’s paid. That really adds up.

 

If you are getting a refund, your extension is automatically approved. But you still have to wait to get your tax money back until your return is filed.

 

Need more details about getting a federal tax extension? Go to the IRS website at http://1.usa.gov/1XHtzSM or consult a qualified tax professional.