Pop quiz: Do you know the tax filing deadline for this year? If you guessed (or Googled) April 18, good job! April 18, also known as Tax Day, is a day you can pat yourself on the back for making it through another tax season. If you haven’t filed your taxes, you may be hesitant to start celebrating just yet. We’re here to give you reason to relax – A tax extension may be just what you need.
What is a Tax Extension?
A tax extension allows you extra time to file your taxes if you cannot complete and submit your return by the deadline. You can request an IRS Tax Extension by April 18. This gives you an automatic six-month filing extension and more importantly, helps you avoid a late filing penalty. With an extension, you’ll have until October 17, 2016 to file your 2015 tax return.
- If You Owe Money
Listen up! Filing an extension does NOT give you extra time to pay the taxes you owe. You’ll need to estimate how much tax you owe and include that payment with Form 4868. Anything you owe will be due by the April 18 deadline, or you may face a late payment penalty. If you’re not able to pay the full amount, don’t worry – installments or other IRS options are available.
- If You’re Receiving Money
Good news! If you’re expecting a refund, you don’t need to file for a tax extension at all. The IRS actually gives you three years to submit your return and claim your refund money.
How Do I File for an Extension?
To file for an extension, complete and submit Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Tax Returnto the IRS by April 18. We’ve provided a quick breakdown to help you understand Form 4868.