Even though you have two extra days this year (with April 15 falling on a Saturday), some procrastinators are sure to miss the April filing deadline for federal tax returns. The good news is that you can get an automatic six month extension of time to file from the IRS.
Here’s the IRS checklist of things to remember about filing extensions:
* The extension will give you extra time to get your paperwork to the IRS, but it does not extend the time you have to pay any tax due.
* You will owe interest on any amounts not paid by the April deadline, plus a late payment penalty if you have paid less than 90 percent of your total tax by that date.
* File Form 4868, Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, with the IRS by the April deadline, or make an extension-related electronic payment.
* You can E-file an extension request using tax preparation software on your own computer or by going to a tax preparer who has the software. The IRS will acknowledge receipt of the extension request if you file by computer.
If you ask for an extension via computer, you can also choose to pay any expected balance due by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal from a checking or savings account. You will need the appropriate bank routing and account numbers and must also have available the adjusted gross income from your 2004 federal income tax return to verify your identity.
If your return is completed but you are unable to pay the tax due, do not request an extension. File your return on time and pay as much as you can. The IRS will send you a bill or notice for the balance due.
To obtain a copy of Form 4868 or other forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or you can download them from IRS.gov.