Finance Globe

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Filing for a Federal Tax Extension

The deadline to file your income tax return is just around the corner - it really comes up fast for those who aren't ready. But don't panic. If you don't see being able to complete your tax return before the deadline, just file for an extension by April 15th and you'll automatically be granted another six months to complete your tax return.

To be timely for your extension, follow the same rules as if you were filing your tax return. This means that the extension request must be post-marked by the U.S. Postal Service or e-filed by midnight on April 15th. You don't have to give the IRS a good reason for not having your tax return complete and needing an extension. It doesn't matter if the first few months of this year have been the most hectic you've ever experienced or you haven't gotten to it because you've just been lazy. You can file for an extension for any reason, and the IRS generally doesn't care what that reason is. And if the IRS happens to deny your request for an extension for some reason, they will contact you.

One warning: While filing an extension gives you additional time to complete your tax return, it does not relieve you of paying your tax liability by the April 15th due date. With your extension request, you'll need to send an estimated payment of federal taxes due.

This means that you'll still have to take a look at your 2009 income and deductions and do some math to get a rough outline of your tax return. Then figure out a close estimate of what you'll owe. It's important to estimate your tax liability as closely as you can - or even send a little extra just to be sure - to avoid getting hit with interest and penalties.

Also, since you must have your federal tax return complete in order to do your state tax return, check with your state's Revenue Department to find out how they handle tax extensions. My state automatically grants an extension upon filing for a federal extension, but some states may require you to file for a state tax extension separately.

To file an extension for your personal tax return, go to the website of the Internal Revenue Service and download Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Income Tax Return.

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Friday, 31 March 2023

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