How To File A Tax Extension
When your taxes can’t be finished by the deadline, it’s time to learn how to file a tax extension. Although tax extensions allow you to file your taxes after the due date, your tax liability still must be paid by the deadline. Any taxes owed which remain unpaid after the due date will still have a penalty and interest attached if not paid on time. A tax extension will only give you time to gather important documents and finalize your information. Tax extensions are important to file because they allow you to avoid a failure to file penalty while putting together your tax return.
- Visit the IRS website and download form 4868. This form is known as the Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
- Complete the form accurately and completely. This form must be turned in by the tax due date, usually April 15th of the following year, unless this is a holiday or weekend.
- Decide how to file your tax extension. You may file electronically using the IRS e-file site, or you may file a paper copy of form 4868. Use the method you chose to file your extension.
- Pay any applicable tax by the deadline to avoid interest and penalties. As is the case with the extension form, your payment must meet the tax deadline. To make the payment by phone or computer using your debit or credit card, call or visit the website of one of the third-party payment providers listed on page four of the instructions on form 4868. Each provider has fees which may be different from the others. For payments by mail, find your state listed on page three of the instructions for form 4868 and mail with a check made out to the United States Treasury. If you can’t make your payment on time, the penalty is one-half of one percent of the amount owed to the IRS, and is charged each month the tax remains unpaid.
- List any payments made with your extension on your tax return when you finally file. If you file form 1040, you’ll list your payment on line 68; for form 1040-A, line 44; for 1040-EZ, line ten. See the instructions on page three of form 4868 for more details if you file using other tax forms.