If you’re not careful, April 15th — the official IRS deadline for filing your federal taxes — can creep up on you. While missing the deadline may not seem like a big deal to some, the IRS doesn’t see it that way. If you file late, you may be subject to penalties and interest.
So what do you do if the April deadline is drawing near, and something is keeping you from completing your tax return? Maybe you’re missing a W-2 or a 1099; recovering from an illness, or going on a wilderness excursion where filing would be difficult. Maybe you’ll just need more time for leisurely filing. No matter the reason, it’s crucial that you file an extension.
Filing an extension isn’t anything you need to feel intimidated by. It’s a simple process with our software and it typically takes less than 15 minutes. An extension will give you a 6-month cushion during which you can file a tax return without incurring late filing penalties.
Once your extension is accepted, you can return and file your tax return anytime during the 6-month period. Investing this short amount of time on filing for an extension can save you a lot of headaches, as well as a lot of money since interest begins accumulating the day your return is due.
Please keep in mind, that you must pay any taxes that are owed to the IRS by the federal due date or you will be charged interest on any tax you haven’t yet paid. An extension doesn’t buy you time to pay your taxes, it just buys you time to file your taxes so you’re not subject to late filing penalties for missing the April 15th filing deadline.
That said, should you fail to file within the 6-month period that follows the April 15th deadline, you can expect a penalty of 4.5 percent of your owed taxes for each month that you fail to pay, with the total penalty potentially being as high as almost 50 percent of what you owe. Furthermore, if your return is past due by over 60 days, the IRS will typically charge you a minimum of $205 or 100 percent of the required tax, whichever is lower.
Granted, penalties and interest are applied only on the condition that you owe taxes. In other words, if you don’t owe any taxes and are not expecting to get a refund there’s no penalty for failing to file.
At E-file.com, you can file an extension for just $19.99, and we will include, at no cost 1040 income tax preparation software. This allows you to come back anytime between April 20th and October 15th to file your tax return completely free of charge.