Tomorrow is the official Tax Day of the United States of America. It is the last day to file your taxes, unless you have requested an extension. Why would someone need to file an extension? Perhaps they have not had time to do their taxes or get with a professional. Maybe they have a complicated tax situation and need more time to get everything together to do a proper filing. Procrastination is also a big reason for many needing an extension. Whatever the reason, there is a proper way to file that tax extension. Approximately 8% of all tax filers file an extension in a given year. This amount is roughly 14 million Americans.
What does filing a tax extension get you? By filing a tax extension, you receive an additional 6 months to file your taxes, meaning your new tax deadline would be October 18, 2017. Filing an extension ultimately equates to more time for one to get his or her taxes in order.
How to file a tax extension:
Online: You can file a tax extension online by either accessing the IRS e-file from a computer or through a tax professional or tax software that uses the e-file program. You will complete an online version of form 4868 which is the Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. The form can be found HERE. Filing your extension using the IRS e-file software is safe and secure. Once you have completed the filing you will receive an electronic confirmation. You will also be required to estimate your tax liability when you fill out the form. The form will also allow you to pay a portion of your tax amount if you choose to do so. Payments can be made online via a direct transfer from your bank, a check or money order.
Paper Form: In addition to filing your extension online, you also have the option to fill out a paper version of form 4868 and mail it in to the IRS. Paper forms must be mailed to specified mailing addresses depending on which state you are filing from. When you file your paper form, you also have the option to add a payment if you would like.
Filing an extension would never be ideal in most scenarios. After all, the majority of Americans do pay too much in taxes throughout the year and most end up receiving a refund. In 2016, according to the IRS the average refund issued was just over $3,000. The earlier you file your taxes the earlier you can receive your refund if you are entitled to one. Maybe you wait to the very last day to file your taxes. If so, once you get them filed go celebrate and take advantage of the following Tax Day freebies that some stores are offering.
James Hendrickson is an internet entrepreneur, blogging junky, hunter and personal finance geek. When he’s not lurking in coffee shops in Portland, Oregon, you’ll find him in the Pacific Northwest’s great outdoors. James has a masters degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Bachelors degree on Sociology from Earlham College. He loves individual stocks, bonds and precious metals.