Today is tax day and for many procrastinators it’s the day of reckoning, but don’t worry you can put off the deadline for six more months just by filing for an extension.
Don’t worry, if you have to file an extension you’re not alone. Every year about 10 million people file for a personal tax extension and 5.5 million file for a business tax extension and those numbers get larger every year, according to the US Tax Center.
It’s a good idea to file for an extension if it’s your first time filing, missing W2’s or important receipts or there’s a personal issue going on.
If you’re going to ask for an extension here’s what you need to know.
It’s as easy as point and click.
Tax extensions can now be filed electronically so there’s no need to even visit the post office or break out those stamps and envelopes. The IRS requires people who are requesting a tax extension to fill out form 4868 and the easiest way to do this is by using an online service like Turbo Tax Extension. There are also several free E-file services available through the IRS website. It’s also possible to download, print out and mail this form, just remember to postmark it by midnight April 15.
Taxes are still due.
This is a little confusing because even though you’re not filing on time, the government still wants its money. Practically, this means the government is going to charge interest and late fees starting from April no matter when you eventually file. If you’re going to owe money it’s best to send in an estimated payment as soon as you can to lower the penalties.
You could be denied.
If you mess up on filing out the forms the IRS could reject your extension resulting in fines and penalties for being late. Double-check all your pertinent information before submitting it.
You need to file two extensions
Most taxpayers will need to file both a state and federal tax extension. However, some states like California, Wisconsin or Alabama automatically offer six month extensions. Be sure and find out what your state’s tax regulations are.
Now that you’ve spent some navigating the murky waters of tax time, it’s time to take a break and get some free food. There are several restaurants offering freebies today like California Tortilla, Schlotzky’s, and McDonald’s. The Inquisitr has a complete list.