What You Need to Know About Filing an Extension

Tax Planning

If you haven’t filed your tax return yet, you are not alone.

People delay filing for a number of reasons: missing some key paperwork, negotiating filing status with an estranged spouse, or just plain don’t have the time to get their taxes together.

Some people automatically are given extensions.

If you live and work abroad, you have until June 15 to file, though your tax payment is still due April 15.

If you are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat zones, you have until 180 days after you leave the combat zone to file and pay your taxes.

If you really need extra time to prepare your tax return, you can file an extension with TurboTax by April 15 to request an extension until October 15 to avoid nasty 5%-per-month penalties for late filing and late payment.

With TurboTax Easy Extension, you will receive a confirmation from the IRS when your extension is accepted.

But remember, filing an extension gives you extra time to file, but it doesn’t give you extra time to pay, so it isn’t a solution if you can’t pay your tax.

You’ll still face penalties for not paying on time as well as interest on the balance due.

The best thing to do is file your taxes by the tax deadline if you can, but if you can’t, pay as much of your taxes as you can by April 15 if you owe, even if you are filing for an extension to file until October 15.

If you pay at least 90% of your tax by April 15, you won’t have to pay a penalty for failure to pay the remaining balance, as long as your taxes are paid in full by the extended due date.