For those that don’t think they’ll be able to complete and file their tax paperwork before Tuesday, April 17th deadline, there’s an IRS-approved way to get a free 6-month extension that only takes about five minutes.
Get more time to file your taxes
This option for an automatic 6-month extension offers much-needed relief for many taxpayers. After filing a request for the extension, you’ll have until October 15, 2018, to complete and file your 2017 taxes.
While the extension is only for the deadline to file, and not for the deadline to pay taxes due, you can still avoid the penalties associated with filing after the April 17 deadline by asking the IRS for an extension.
The late-filing penalty is 5% of the unpaid tax balance every month until taxes are filed.
How to request a tax filing extension:
- Contact a tax professional to fill out the paperwork for you
- File paper Form 4868
- Use tax preparation software
- Go to the IRS Free File link
To avoid late-payment penalties on taxes due for 2017, you’ll need to estimate the amount you owe and pay when you file the extension request. The amount you pay as an estimate reduces the total tax amount subject to interest and penalties.
If you know you won’t be able to pay the entire amount you owe the IRS, there are several options for relief
If you owe less than $50,000 to the IRS, you can use their Online Payment Agreement and set up a payment plan in just a few minutes. Alternatively, you can file Form 9465 and mail it in.
Over ten million Americans asked the IRS for an extension on their tax deadline last year. Doing so gives you some extra time to complete the process and allows you to avoid penalties.