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File a Tax Extension to Relieve Last-Minute Pressure

April 13, 2018

Have you filed your taxes yet? If not, you have until midnight Tuesday, April 17. According to the IRS, of the nearly 115 million tax returns are expected to be filed this year, nearly 10 million will apply for an extension.

Whether you’re a procrastinator or life simply got ahead of you, it’s possible to give yourself more time without incurring a penalty – and, trust us, you want to avoid penalties. For those who owe and do not file their return on time, the IRS will impose a 5 percent fee on the unpaid balance for each month it’s late, up to a maximum of 25 percent of the amount due. That adds up quickly.

The good news is any taxpayer is eligible to file an extension and it’s as easy as filling out Form 4868 by the deadline. Upon completion, applicants will receive an automatic six-month extension.

However, before you go through the trouble of filing Form 4868, check to see if you automatically qualify for a tax extension. Some people are automatically granted an extended deadline to accommodate their circumstances, such as members of the military, eligible support personnel serving in a combat zone and U.S. residents in areas that have been deemed official national disaster sites, such as victims of Hurricane Maria.

It’s important to note that filing for an extension does not extend the time you have to pay. It simply means you have more time to get your paperwork into the IRS. So, if you owe money be sure to pay attention to the payment deadlines or you’ll be incurring interest fees.

How can I file for an extension?

Filing a Form 4868 is free and easy and can be completed by:

  • Using online via a software like FreeFileon IRS.gov
  • Asking your tax preparer to file an extension for you
  • Complete and mail a Form 4868 to the IRS

Need help or want to know more about filing for an extension? Talk to your company’s HR manager or an HR expert at AccessPoint to find out more.