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How To File For Extension On Tax Returns

Author: Robert Smith
by Robert Smith
Posted: Jan 25, 2015
file extension

The first thing you need to know about how to file for extension on tax returns is that it is easy. However, it is also important to understand exactly what an extension is. When people are unable to complete their tax return by the April 15th deadline, they can apply for 6 more months to complete their documents and send them in to the IRS. They cannot, however, take longer to pay their tax liability or they will be subjected to growing interest and penalties that could result in their paying a great deal more.

It takes about 15 minutes to file for an extension on your taxes and most extensions are for 6 months. There are exceptions that may extend the deferment period such as living out of the country at the time your taxes are due. The IRS does not require you to give a reason for the extension but you will have to have a good idea of what your total income will be once you are ready to file. If you pay at least 90% of your tax liability, you can avoid late penalties on the amount that is due when you file in October.

Reasons to File an Extension on Your Tax Return

Reasons that you may need to know how to file for extension on tax return forms include:

  • More time to receive tax documents and to organize your tax deductions
  • Extra time to file a gift tax return
  • Reduce late penalties
  • Prevent you from missing the three-year deadline that applies to tax returns
  • More time to fund or convert a retirement fund

Taking more time to file your tax refund could also mean more accurate preparation. Without the pressure to meet the April 15th deadline on your shoulders, you can take the time to explore more avenues and find all of the deductions that you are entitled to. You never know what changes will result in your getting a better refund than you did the year before.

How to File for Extension on Tax Return in Your State

The Form 4868 is used to file for an extension on your federal income tax. However, if you want to file for an extension on your state tax refund, you will have to fill out and submit the appropriate forms for the state you lived and/or worked in during the tax year. The tax laws in each state differ so that specific procedures must be followed.

Reducing Your Penalties and Interest

If you pay the expected 90% of your estimated tax liability when you submit the Form 4868 application, you can avoid paying significant fees and interest on top of what you owe. This form should be submitted by the April 15th due date for income tax submissions. Any time you pay late, you will have to pay interest on the owed amount and this interest increases as more time goes by. If you file on your own, make sure you understand how to file for extension on tax return forms and make the appropriate payment to pay the least possible amount.

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Author: Robert Smith
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