How Do I Get an Extension on My Taxes

How do I get an extension on my taxes? If the April 15 tax deadline is looming, and you aren't ready, you can request the opportunity to delay filing your taxes. The IRS automatically grants a six-month extension to any taxpayer who completes the proper paperwork and submits it by the tax filing deadline. The top reasons for filing an income tax extension are procrastination, changes in tax laws, living or working out of the country, amended W-2s and medical emergencies.

How To File For An Extension
The IRS understands that sometimes situations arise that prevent you from filing a correct tax return on time. Following these six steps will buy you time to get some income tax help to submit a correct tax return.

1. Ensure you qualify for the extension by estimating your tax liability, using various online tax calculators or estimating based on the previous year's tax liability.

2. Download the IRS Form 4868 from the IRS Web site, or get the paper form from a tax preparation company.

3. Fill out the form, entering the tax liability estimate on the fourth line of the form.

4. Enclose a check or money order for estimated taxes owed.

5. Mail in Form 4868 by April 15th.

6. Work on your income tax return so you can submit it on or before October 15th of that same year.

Fees And Penalties
When you do file your tax return, the extension causes a few changes in some areas. First, if there is any amount of tax that is still owed and was not paid when the extension was filed, the IRS will charge you interest on that amount. Also, the IRS will implement a penalty for late payment. The penalty fee is generally a percentage of the total tax, although occasionally this can be waived if the IRS feels that your explanation qualifies for an exceptional reason that prevented you from paying. If you believe your case is exceptional, notify the IRS. Finally, the tax return is subject to a late filing penalty fee if you miss the October 15th deadline.

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Are you worried about penalties for late tax returns? For whatever reason, you've let the April 15th income tax deadline come and go. There are penalties for late returns, but, if you follow the appropriate steps, you can minimize the penalties and keep things in good order with the IRS. 

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Use our checklist as a guide to help you gather necessary forms and receipts for preparing your income tax return. 

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