How To File For Tax Extension
Do you need to know how to file for a tax extension? If April 15th is fast approaching and you don't have time to file, the IRS will grant you a tax extension, provided you use the correct forms and procedures. When you file for a tax extension, you automatically get an extra six months to file, meaning your complete tax return won't be due until October 15th. While an extension does give you more time to get your paperwork together, the IRS still wants their cash. Part of completing the paperwork includes estimating and paying your taxes. Can't pay up? Prepare to fork over both interest and penalty charges.
Why to file for a tax extension: Filing for an extension resets the clock, giving you six more months to get organized. If you waited until April 14th to find an accountant, an extension can give you more time to find a pro to handle your taxes. File an extension even if you can't pay the taxes. Filing and not paying isn't a crime—but not filing a tax return is. (Remember Al Capone and his pesky tax evasion problem? An extension would have kept him out of jail—for a while, at least.)
- How to file for a tax extension: Complete IRS Form 4868. You can find this form on their website. Print out Form 4868 and complete it as directed. This tax form comes with complete instructions, so follow them step by step. Part of filing for a tax extension is estimating your taxes. You may end up owing money, or the IRS could owe you a refund. You can mail the form in to the IRS or you can e-file. Form 4868 includes instructions for both methods of filing.
If you owe money, your estimated taxes are still due April 15th, you only get more time for the paperwork. Try to pay if you can, otherwise the fees will start to pile up. Pay via credit card if you e-file and with a credit card check if you file by mail. If you are owed a refund, file the extension by mail or using e-file, and then complete your taxes as quickly as possible—why wait?