Apr
11

5 Things You Should Know if You’re Filing Taxes Late

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Form 1040.  Request an extension and get more time to file!

I may not make the federal income tax filing deadline next week.  My tax return is not done, the fat lady is not singing yet.  I’m going out of town at the end of this week, and I’ll be gone all weekend.  I’ve set aside Friday for my own “tax work”, and what I can’t get done that day, I’ll have to finish up Monday.  Hopefully I can hit the “submit” button before Midnight!

If I can’t get my tax return completed in time, I can file a request for an extension.  Filing for an extension will give me another 6 months to file.  My tax return won’t be due until October 15, 2013.  Filing an extension, however, will not give me extra time to pay.  If I will owe the IRS money, they want me to pay that with the extension request.  They’re willing to wait on the paperwork, but they’re not willing to wait on their money.

Five Things You Need To Know About Filing For An Extension

1.  Filing Form 4868 by mail is the most common way to request an extension (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S Individual Tax Return).  Pick up a blank Form 4868 at your local library, or download and print from the IRS website.  Fill in the form – it’s short, only a few lines, and attach a check if you think you’re going to owe a balance due.  You don’t have to know to the penny what the bill will be, but take a good guess and write a check for all of it or a large portion of it.  Pay what you can afford.  The IRS will look favorably upon you if you pay now instead of when you file.  You’ve got to get this form in the mail and postmarked before Midnight, April 15.   CLICK HERE FOR FORM 4868

2.  The easiest way to file for an extension is using Free File at the IRS website.  Everyone is eligible to go to the IRS website and use Free File to e-file an extension request.  There are no limitations on this service, income or otherwise, as there is if you’re using Free File to send in a tax return.  Just like your tax return, you’ve got to e-file the extension request before Midnight April 15, and the receipt you’ll get when you file the request is your proof you made the deadline.  This receipt is important – print it and save it.  Put it with your tax return paperwork.  GO HERE FOR FREE FILE

3.  If you do use e-file for your extension request, you can pay any balance due by using the website option to transfer money from your checking or savings account.  You’ll need your bank routing number and account number in order to pay using electronic funds withdrawal, so have your checkbook handy when you sit down at your computer.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

4.  Do you have your return finished before the deadline, but find you owe money that you don’t have?  File your tax return on time, even if you owe money and can’t pay.  Don’t file an extension.  Send in your return and pay what you can, then call the IRS in about 30-45 days and request a payment plan.  You can also download an application from the IRS website and submit this with your tax return, asking for an installment arrangement that will allow you to make monthly payments (Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request).  The IRS website  has an online tool (Online Payment Agreement) that you can use to apply for a payment plan online.  If you owe money and there is absolutely no way to pay due to unemployment, illness, etc., call the IRS.  There are things they can do that will give you a breather until you can get on your feet again.  The entire time you owe money to the IRS, there is going to be interest and penalties added, and those fees compound daily.  Pay the IRS off as soon as you can.

CLICK HERE FOR THE IRS ONLINE PAYMENT AGREEMENT 

CLICK HERE FOR FORM 9465 INSTALLMENT AGREEMENT REQUEST

5.  Asking for more time to file does not give you more time to pay your taxes.  Tax law says that the tax is due on the money when the money is earned.  This is April 2013 – and the money you owe taxes on was earned in 2012.  You should have been paying Estimated Payments during the year, and not be in a balance due situation now – per the tax code.  If you don’t have the tax you owe paid by the April 15 filing deadline, you will be assessed penalties and interest.  If you can afford it, pay as much as you can with your extension request.  If you still owe, make time to contact the IRS and request a payment plan.  You do not want your account to go to Collections!

Do you feel the need to file an extension?  If not, how fast did you spend your tax refund?

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Categories : Form 1040, Free Stuff, IRS, Taxes

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