O.K. — some of us (me included!) just hate doing our taxes, and we are perennially late filers, seeking extensions each year. Although the IRS has given us two extra days to file this year (until April 17), many taxpayers still need more time to gather their papers or muster their courage and just can’t make the deadline.
Fortunately, the IRS has made provisions for us procrastinators.
You can file Form 4868 (Application For Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Tax Return) on your computer by accessing IRS e-file, or you can have your accountant do it for you. If you file this way, you will receive an acknowledgement or confirmation number from the I.R.S. and you do not need to mail in Form 4868. If you owe additional taxes, you can pay through an outside service provider or through e-file.
You can also use the IRS’ Free File program to file electronically. But make sure you have a copy of last year’s tax return since you’ll need your Adjusted Gross Income for taxpayer verification.
Use Your Credit or Debit Card
You can pay your estimated income tax due by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). The IRS has contracted with several outside payment companies to assist you. Pay taxes by credit or debit card, but note that you will be charged a convenience fee.
File a Paper Form 4868
Send the IRS a request for an Extension of Time To File Your Tax Return.
One last caveat: An extension of time to file is NOT an extension of time to pay, so if you don’t pay what you think you owe, you will be charged a penalty.
Just make sure you file something, or you’ll be sorry!