All Articles Tagged "filing a tax extension"
The income tax deadline for the 2012 tax season is April 17th. (Normally it’s on the 15th but this year that was a weekend and the 16th is Emancipation Day in DC.) Many taxpayers have already filed their returns months ago, especially if there was a refund involved. But there are still a few of you out there who haven’t, especially if it involves paying money to the IRS. So what do you do if it’s the last day to file a return and you still haven’t gotten your ducks in a row? File an extension.
The IRS grants you an automatic six month extension on filing your tax return if you fill out Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Just fill out the form on the first page and put in the mail. There’s a space on the form asking you how much you expect to owe on your return. Just use your best guess based on your 2010 tax returns.
A Return Extension is Different Than a Payment Extension
One big thing to remember is that receiving an extension on filing the paperwork is different from receiving an extension on your tax payment. If you have an idea of what you owe, you should send it in with your paperwork extension. If that’s not possible (or you’d prefer to wait until you have all of the paperwork done before you send out any money) you just have to contact the IRS for its payment extension services. The IRS is almost always willing to make payment plans with taxpayers and even has an electronic approval process. If you pay within 120 days, you can avoid any late fees or interest. Check out the IRS for more information on setting up a payment extension.
Don’t Forget Your State Obligations
As you know, tax returns come in two flavors: state and federal. Filling out Form 4868 takes care of your federal taxes for the moment but don’t forget your state taxes. Many states give you an automatic extension if you file one with the federal government but some don’t. Check with your state’s department of revenue for its procedure on return extensions.
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