Sometimes you cannot complete the paperwork for your tax return by the due date (April 17, 2018 for your 2017 returns). But, unlike your old algebra homework, you can’t just turn it in late. The IRS is very, very picky about deadlines. However, the IRS also makes it fairly simple for you to get some extra time to get your tax return completed. Here are a few important points to know if you think you’ll be filing an extension for your taxes.
Extensions Apply to Your Tax Return Paperwork ONLY
By filing for an extension, you will get 6 more months to file your tax return paperwork (October 15, 2018).
Filing An Extension Does Not Give You Extra Time to Pay
It is really important to understand that filing an extension only gives you more time to get your paperwork and return in order. If you owe the government tax money, they will still expect it on the April 17th deadline. There is no extension for money you owe. You will be charged interest on unpaid taxes. So, if you think you’ll owe taxes, you must estimate the amount you owe and send it in by the deadline.
Use Form 4868
The IRS provides Form 4868 for filing an extension. The fastest way to file an extension is to fill out Form 4868 electronically. The form also includes instructions for paying estimated taxes owed. When you complete Form 4868, you will receive an electronic acknowledgement. Be sure and keep it for your records.
Do Not Just Turn in your Tax Forms Late
If you are waiting for documents, or life events have made it impossible to file your tax return on time, don’t just turn it in late. The IRS will hit you with penalties and interest. Filing an extension is simple, will give you 6 more months to complete your return, and will save you stress, headaches, and money.
If you need help determining if you need to file an extension or how to estimate taxes, give us a call at (215)497-8888.