Thursday, April 12, 2012

Attention: Tax Procrastinators!

Ok. Some of us (me included!) just hate doing our taxes, and we are perennially late filers, seeking extensions each year. Although the IRS has given us two extra days to file this year (until April 17), many taxpayers still need more time to gather their papers together, or to muster their courage, and just can’t make the deadline.

Fortunately, the IRS has made provisions for us procrastinators!

The IRS provides three ways to request an automatic extension of time to file your tax return.

1.     Electronically. You can file Form 4868 (Application For Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Tax Return) on your computer by accessing IRS e-file, or you can have your accountant do it for you. If you file this way, you will receive an acknowledgement or confirmation number from the I.R.S. and you do not need to mail in Form 4868.  If you owe additional taxes, you can pay through an outside service provider or through e-file. 

You can also use the IRS’ Free File program to file electronically But make sure you have a copy of last year's tax return, as you’ll need your Adjusted Gross Income for taxpayer verification.

2.     Use your credit or debit card to pay your estimated income tax due, by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). The IRS has contracted with several outside payment companies to assist you. Pay Taxes by Credit or Debit Card, but note that you will be charged a convenience fee.

3.     File a paper Form 4868. Extension of Time To File Your Tax Return

One last caveat: An extension of time to file is NOT an extension of time to pay, so if you don’t pay what you think you owe, you will be charged a penalty.

Just make sure you file something, or you’ll be sorry!

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