With the deadline quickly approaching, time for filing your 2017 federal tax return is running out. If you don’t think you will finish your return in time and need some extra time, you should file for an extension. To file an extension, all you need to do is fill out Form 4868 and send it to the IRS. This will inform the IRS that your return will be sent in by October 15, 2018. It is very important to know that even if you file for an extension for your tax return, you still have to pay your taxes on the 17th of April. Filing an extension does not give you more time to pay, it only gives you more time to file. If you expect to pay, send the IRS a close estimate of what you will owe. If you do not pay by April 17th, you will likely incur penalties and interest on what you already owe.
How to File for an Extension
There are two ways that you can file an extension for your 2017 tax return. You can either mail in the Form 4868, or you can choose to e-file them. Choosing to file your federal tax return online is free to taxpayers that are filing an extension. On the form, you will get asked for an estimate of your total tax liability for 2017, the tax payments you’ve already made for 2017, and the amount you will be paying now when you file the form. You will only need to fill this out if you expect to owe for 2017. Once you have submitted your forms, you have until October 15, 2018 to file your taxes with all your documentation.
Is Getting an Extension Worth It?
If you’re not sure if filing for an extension is worth it or not, there are a few things you should consider. If you don’t expect to owe, you don’t have your tax documents together, or don’t think you’ll finish your return in time, file for an extension. You do not want to turn in your return late or turn in a tax return that is incorrect. An incorrect tax return could get you audited or incur penalties. It is important to remember, if you file an extension, you don’t have to wait until October to file it. You can file your tax return at any time between April 17th and October 15th.
If you don’t file for an extension and don’t file your tax return by April 17th, you could get hit with late-filling or late payment penalties from the IRS. If you’re not sure if you’re going to finish your return by April 17th, file for the extension now and if you end up getting the return done in time, you don’t lose money or get any penalties. It’s better to play it safe then risk an audit or penalties.
If you need help filing an extension or help filing your tax return, Polston Tax can help. Our team of tax attorneys can help you file current and past tax returns so you are compliant with the IRS. Call us today at 844-841-9857 or click below to schedule a free consultation.