Way back in April when you requested an extension to file your 2021 income tax returns, you breathed a sigh of relief. Phew! Six additional months to file. It seemed like all the time in the world. Well, “all the time in the world” is passing quickly. You have about a month left to file – by October 17th. The 15th is a Saturday, so the IRS is giving you two extra days. On October 17th, there are no more extensions and no more excuses.
Of course, you don’t need to wait until the October deadline to file. The IRS will be happy to get your tax return as soon as you have all of your information together. Actually, filing electronically and paying any amount owed as soon as possible can help you avoid further interest and penalties, even if you did not file an extension by the April deadline.
Here are two essential tips about filing your 2021 extended income tax return:
- File by October 17th
Failure-to-file penalties are expensive. If you really cannot get your business expenses or other tax-related information organized as thoroughly as you should to file a complete and accurate income tax return, use your best estimates and file by the due date. Then, finish getting those documents together and file an amended return. You have three years to amend a return but don’t procrastinate. Interest continues to accrue on any unpaid tax balance that may be due with the amended return.
- If You Still Owe
Even if you tax paid with your extension request, you could still end up owing more when you file. Keep in mind that interest accrues daily on unpaid tax balances, so pay as much as possible with your return to reduce interest and penalties. Using IRS Direct Pay to securely pay from your checking or savings accounts is free. Can’t pay it all now? The IRS offers payment plan options. Details about payment options and their costs are all found at the Paying Your Taxes page on IRS.gov.
Filing an extension in April feels terrific, until that six-month reprieve flies by and you there you are, confronted with another deadline. Only about a month to go. No more excuses. Go ahead and get started. Maybe it won’t be as painful as you think.
Need help meeting the October 17th tax filing deadline? Go to the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/dont-wait-to-file-irs-encourages-taxpayers-with-october-filing-extensions-and-others-who-still-need-to-file. Need more guidance? Consult a qualified tax professional.