The infamous date of April 15 causes dread for some and serves as little more than just another day for others. However, the good news is if you’re not quite ready to file your return, it’s probably not too late. As long as the request is received by the IRS prior to April 15, taxpayers are able to request an extension of time to file. If you need to file an extension, though, there are a few things you need to know.
Who Qualifies for A Tax Extension?
Actually, anyone can get a tax extension. By submitting a Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return), you can get a six-month extension to file your federal income tax return. However, it’s important to note that the extension is for filing alone. Even if the extension is received, you are still responsible to pay any taxes due and should include it with the form to avoid interest, penalties, and late fees.
There are currently three ways to submit a tax extension. To receive an extension, individuals may file online, submit the form via mail, and/or pay the expected taxes due by credit or debit card via the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
Why Might Someone Qualify for a Tax Extension?
There are several reasons individuals apply and qualify for tax extensions. Most commonly, an individual qualifies for a tax extension because he or she has incomplete tax documentation, such as a lost W-2 or waiting for a K-1. Additionally, tax extensions are granted to individuals who encounter an unexpected life event, such as a family death or illness or who need to process an IRA conversion.
The purpose of a tax return extension is to afford you additional time to file the appropriate documentation. The added time will help you ensure that your return is as complete and accurate as possible. It is important to avoid completing your return in a rush if you are facing challenges, and an extension affords you the full opportunity to address your finances and take your time completing your return.
If you need additional time filing your tax return, a tax extension is the way to receive that extra time. The IRS affords individuals this opportunity but still requires that the expected taxes due are paid by the filing date of April 15.