If you haven’t looked at the calendar yet, today’s the deadline to file income taxes!
For those of you who have filed, you probably received your tax refund, or it should be coming soon. For those of you who are freaking out, and can’t believe April 15 has arrived, don’t worry just yet – you can get extra time to file.
The IRS estimates there will be about 12 million taxpayers who don’t make the deadline, and instead request for extra time to file.
Requesting an extension with the IRS gives taxpayers an extra 6 months to file, or the deadline of October 15. A request for tax-filing extension can be done with Form 4868. An extension does not mean you get extra time to pay taxes owed, but rather extra time to file your tax return paperwork.
When you file Form 4868 through the Free File link on IRS.gov, you must estimate your tax liability and pay any amount due. The process is completed in a matter of minutes with payment on taxes owed accepted using a debit or credit card, by inputting your bank routing number and account number or by check or money order in the mail (postmarked April 15). Your accountant or paid tax preparer may also request for an extension for you.
By filing for an extension, you avoid heavy penalties. There’s a 5 percent charge per month on unpaid taxes owed (maximum penalty capped at 25 percent) and interest, which is currently 3 percent. Everything begins to accrue on April 16.
Keep in mind that when filing Form 4868, if you miscalculate the amount of tax owed, there’s still going to be penalties and fees for what’s due, but the penalty will be .5 percent instead of the hefty 5 percent for not filing at all.
For those of you who haven’t filed your income tax return yet, don’t procrastinate any further – at least file for an extension and estimate payment for taxes owed, if any.