Although taxpayers have an extra weekend to prepare and file individual income tax returns due to the Friday April 15th federal holiday, the Monday April 18th deadline arrives with the same rules. You must file your 2015 individual income tax return by the deadline or face penalties as well as additional penalties and interest charges on any unpaid taxes owed.
Even if you’re filing an extension allowing up to six months more time to complete and file your final return, you are still required to pay the estimated taxes you owe by the April 18th deadline.
Filing an Extension
At this point, there are only a few more days to complete your tax return on or before the deadline. If you have a complicated return and have not yet submitted tax information to your tax preparation professional, requesting an extension of time to file may be your best option.
Form 4868 is the application you need for an automatic extension of time to file your federal individual income taxes. The IRS will give you up to October 17, 2016 to file your 2015 individual income tax return before new late filing penalties will be assessed. You may file it any time before the extension expires. Qualifying taxpayers who are out of the country are allowed two extra months to file and pay taxes owed without facing a penalty. Those taxpayers include citizens who are in the military serving outside the country or live and/or work outside the United States and Puerto Rico. (Read more about military service tax benefits by clicking here.)
If you request an extension, you will still owe interest on any tax that was not paid by the regular due date, even if you qualify for the two-month extension to file your return. (Find out more about the penalties you may face by clicking here to read The Price of Missed Tax Deadlines.)
One way to escape having to file the extension request tax form is to pay the taxes you owe through an IRS venue such as Direct Pay, EFTPS or using your own credit card on irs.gov. When you pay all that you owe online by the deadline through these venues you will receive a confirmation number for your records and do not have to file the Form 4868. However, you will need to file your tax return as soon as you can. On that return you will be asked to share your confirmation of paying your taxes by the deadline. You still face a late filing penalty, but will not have to pay penalty and interest on the taxes owed. (For information about ways to pay the tax you owe, click here to read Tax Payment Options to Meet Deadline Date.)
Businesses may also apply for an extension of time to file tax returns under certain circumstances, such as being in the middle of declaring bankruptcy. Form 7004 provides a tool to request a 5-month or 6-month extension of time without paying a late filing penalty. Form 1138 allows certain corporations an extension of time to file if the entity is expecting a net operating loss carryback that cannot be calculated by the designated tax deadline date.
If you have any questions about filing an extension or meeting your tax deadline obligation, please contact us at McRuer CPAs for more information.