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04/06/2018

When You Can't File by the Deadline: Facts on Filing an Extension

An unexpected IRS system "issue" caused a one day delay this tax season that has given taxpayers another day until the deadline, April 18, 2018, to file their completed 2017 individual income tax returns. Taxpayers who can't make the deadline may choose to request an automatic six-month extension.  

Deadline on stop watch picHere is information posted by the IRS on the alternatives available for taxpayers with a deadline dilemma.   Note: Even if you request an extension to file your tax return, you must still pay any estimated amount of income tax you may owe by the deadline or face penalties.

Facts about Filing for an Extension

This year’s tax-filing deadline is today. Taxpayers needing more time to file their taxes can get an automatic six-month extension from the IRS.

There are a few different ways taxpayers can file for an extension.

IRS Free File. While taxpayers may use IRS Free File e-file a free extension request. Midnight on April 18 is the deadline for the IRS to receive an e-filed extension request for 2017 individual federal income taxes.

Form 4868. Taxpayers may request an extension using the Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. The deadline for mailing the form to the IRS is April 18, 2018 for 2017 individual federal income tax returns.

Electronic Payment Options. The IRS will automatically process an extension of time to file when taxpayers pay all or part of their 2017 taxes electronically by April 18. They don’t need to file a paper or electronic Form 4868 when making a payment with IRS Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or with a debit or credit card.  When paying one of these ways, taxpayers will select Form 4868 as the payment type. Taxpayers should print out a confirmation as proof of payment and keep it with their records.

Here are a few more important things for taxpayers filing an extension to remember:

More Time to File is Not More Time to Pay. An extension to file gives taxpayers more time to file their return, but not more time to pay their taxes. Taxpayers should estimate and pay any owed taxes by April 18 to avoid a late-filing penalty. To avoid penalties and interest, they should pay the full amount owed by the April due date.

The IRS Can Help. The IRS offers payment options for taxpayers who can’t pay all the tax they owe. In most cases, they can apply for an installment agreement with the Online Payment Agreement application on IRS.gov. They may also file Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. The IRS will also work with taxpayers who can’t make payments because of financial hardship.

If you have questions, please contact one of our tax preparation experts at McRuer CPAs.

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