Get six more months to file your taxes

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The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that if they are unable to file their tax return by the April 18 deadline this year, there is a simple online option to get more time to complete their return. .

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Taxpayers who need more time to complete their return can request an automatic six-month extension to file their return. An extension allows more time to gather, prepare, and file documents with the IRS; however, taxpayers should be aware that:

  • An extension to file their return does not grant them an extension to pay their taxes,
  • They must estimate and pay the taxes due within the usual deadlines to avoid possible penalties and
  • They must file their extension no later than the regular due date of their return.

E-file an extension form for free

Individual filers, regardless of income, can use IRS Free File to electronically request an automatic tax return extension. The fastest and easiest way to get an extension is through IRS Free File on Taxpayers can request an extension electronically at Form 4868 PDF. Filing this form gives taxpayers until October 17 to file their tax returns. To obtain the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and must timely pay any amount owing.

Get an extension during a payment

Other quick, free, and easy ways to get an extension include using the IRS direct paymentthe Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by paying with credit or debit card or digital wallet. There is no need to file a separate Form 4868 extension request when making an electronic payment and indicate that it is an extension. The IRS will automatically count it as an extension.

Important Extension Reminders

The IRS reminds taxpayers that an extension request allows more time for case a tax return, but no overtime for Pay any tax due. Payments are always due on the original deadline. Taxpayers must file their return even if they cannot pay the full amount. By filing on time or requesting an extension before the April 18 filing deadline, they will avoid the late-filing penalty, which can be 10 times more costly than the non-payment penalty.

Taxpayers who pay as much as they can by the due date reduce the overall amount subject to penalties and interest. The interest rate is currently four percent per annum, compounded daily. The late filing penalty is usually five percent per month and the late payment penalty is normally 0.5 percent per month.

The IRS will work with taxpayers who cannot pay the full amount of tax they owe. Other payment options, such as getting a loan or paying by credit card, can help settle a tax debt. Most people can create a payment plan on to pay off their balance over time.

Other automatic extensions

Some eligible taxpayers get more time to file without having to request extensions. These include:

  • U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens who live and work outside of the United States and Puerto Rico get a automatic 2 months extension to file their tax returns. They have until June 15 to submit their application. However, tax payments are still due on April 18 or interest will be charged.
  • Members serving outside the United States and Puerto Rico also receive an automatic two-month extension to file. Those who serve in combat zone have up to 180 days after leaving the combat zone to file returns and pay taxes due. Details are available in Publication 3, Armed Forces Tax Guide.
  • When the President makes a disaster area declaration, the IRS can postpone certain taxpayer deadlines for residents and businesses in the affected area. People can find information about the most recent tax breaks for disaster situations on the IRS website.

The deadline for submitting 2021 tax returns or an extension to file and pay taxes due this year falls on April 18, instead of April 15, due to the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19, 2022 to file their returns due to the Patriots Day holiday in those states.

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