needs a cushion (and maybe a hot cup of tea) around April tax
As tax deadlines
draw near, there are meetings with accountants, searching for
all those missing pieces of paper including receipts, logs of
travel expenses, and the million other nit-picky items that go
into an audit-proof
But if you
seriously need an extension of time to file this year, the IRS
allows you to take up to six months to complete your taxes (that
is, if you don't owe anything) without penalties.
information for those traveling abroad at tax time, as well as
U.S. armed forces personnel serving overseas on April 15.
4868 is the form to remember when you're running short on time or you
think you might miss the April 15 due date.
4868, or "Application for Automatic Extension of Time To
File U.S Income Tax Return" includes the full form and complete
instructions for estimating what you may owe, or won't owe. It
also includes special instructions for e-filing as well as filing
the traditional paper form.
I can't pay my estimated taxes by April 15?
If you are
expecting a refund, no more needs to be done than to file the
4868 form for a 6-month extension (usually, until October 15),
but if you've estimated that you owe taxes this year, the IRS
allows little "wiggle room" for late payment.
At least 90
percent of your estimated taxes must accompany your tax extension
form. To avoid late penalties, payment can be made by check or,
if you are e-filing, by credit card. An interest rate of 1/2 of
1% applies until your taxes are paid.
If you cannot
pay your estimated taxes by the deadline date, don't bother to
file the 4868 form. Simply file your taxes as you normally would
and pay as much as you can. The IRS will send you a notice for
the balance. This may include additional charges for interest
and/or a penalty.
Do I also
have to file an extension on my state taxes?
usually require their own tax extension forms to file, and
often follow the federal guidelines for allowing a 6-month extension
after the filing deadline. Don't forget to file your state's
extension form to avoid any additional late payment penalties.
I'm out of the country around tax time?
apply if you are living or working outside the U.S. on April 15.
The IRS allows
2 extra months to file your return and pay any amount due without
requesting an extension. This also applies to members of the U.S.
armed forces serving in combat zones overseas. For
more information, see the Tax
Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.