There are a number of good reasons you should late file your federal taxes, whether you foresee missing this year’s deadline or omitted to file your taxes from previous years.
Foremost, you could be due a refund, in which case you would get money without any penalties. But even if you owe the IRS money, you could limit the amount of the penalties for filing late. Either way, it’s wise to file.
So, how do you go about filing late? At Latetax.com, we can help you do just that, and to get you started we first outline a few important things you need to pay attention to.
First, plan ahead. We advise that you start thinking about the tax process well before the April deadline. The sooner you grasp your present tax situation, the sooner you can take the necessary steps to deal with it.
For example, if you’re aware you will not be ready to file by tax day, you can apply for a six month extension by completing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
Form 4868 must be turned in to the IRS by the normal due date for filing, typically April 15 of each year, unless that date is pushed forward by a holiday or weekend. And what’s nice about it is that you need not worry about having to explain your situation to the IRS.
The IRS rarely asks you why you are requesting an extension. If an extension is rejected, the most common reasons have to do with incorrect information entered, such as names and social security numbers that do not match IRS records.
Note however that the IRS will require you to enter an estimate of your tax liability on your extension form. This amount would, in principle, be the same as the one you would have filed on your Form 1040 were you not requesting an extension. If you are uncertain, you can base your calculation on your returns from previous years.
The IRS will also suggest that you pay at least part of the amount owed in the case where you believe you may have a tax liability. This partial or full payment of your estimated liability is not compulsory. The IRS will not reject your request for extension if you opt to pay nothing.
It will however increase the amount of interest tabbed on any unpaid taxes that you end up owing. You may even be charged a penalty for failing to pay your taxes in full by the April deadline.
Once your extension is approved, your new deadline for filing your late tax return will be October 15, unless delayed by a holiday or weekend. The new deadline granted by the extension is also the last date to file electronically. After the deadline you will have to submit a physical paper return to the IRS.
Physical returns, in addition to being inconvenient for you, take significantly longer for the IRS to process. Which means it will take a lot longer for you to get your refund. Filing online is by far the best way to get your refund fast.
Keep in mind that an extension of time to file does not equal an extension of time to pay. This is essential to remember when late tax filing. If you owe tax, you will be charged penalties and interest on the amount owed for as long as it remains unpaid after the April deadline.
Again, the important thing to remember when filing federal income tax late is to plan ahead. Seek late tax filing assistance from the IRS by submitting a request for an extension. Not only will you buy yourself an extra 6 months, you’ll avoid penalties and save yourself a lot of money.