How to Request a Tax Extension
What do you do if you are unable to file your federal tax returns by the April deadline? When you find yourself in this situation, a tax filing extension is usually the best solution to avoid being charged with late payment fees and interest charges.
A Step-by-Step Guide When Requesting a Tax Extension
Estimate your tax for the year
Determine how much you owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the year based on the information you have when filing your extension. Failure to do so may result in the rejection of your request.
File your request
When filing an extension, you can e-file Tax Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) online or print and mail the completed extension form. Special rules may apply for those who are serving in combat zones, qualified hazardous duty areas and those who are living outside the United States.
Pay the taxes you owe
You can either make payments electronically or send a check-money order payable to the United States Treasury. Do not forget to write down your SSN, daytime phone number, and Form 4868 on your check or money order. Note: When you pay part or all of your estimated income taxes due using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), Direct Pay, or by a credit-debit card, your extension will be automatically processed.
- Determine if you need to request a tax extension from your state. Different states have different guidelines regarding the matter so check your state’s requirements for filing an extension. If you live in Georgia, you can request a state tax extension from the Georgia Department of Revenue usingGeorgia Tax Form IT-303. However, if you have a Federal Tax Extension, you are not required to submit Form IT-303.
- Be careful when estimating the taxes you owe. If the IRS thinks that your estimate is unreasonable it may not approve your request for an extension and charge you with a late-filing penalty. You also have to pay interest on the amount you fail to pay by the April deadline when you underestimate the amount of tax you owe.
- It does not grant you an extension of time to pay your taxes. It only gives you an additional six months to file your tax documents and not an extension of time to pay the taxes you owe for that particular year.
Read more great tips like these on my CPA blog.
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