Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Need more time to file your federal income taxes? Consider an extension

Need more time to file your federal income taxes? Consider an extension:

These days, life can be hectic and something is bound to be forgotten in the shuffle, even filing your income tax return. If you can’t get it completed by April 15, you can file for an automatic extension to give yourself something precious — time.

Tax-filing extensions are available if you need more time to finish your tax return. Remember, this is an extension of time to file, not an extension of time to pay. However, if you’re having trouble paying what you owe, you may ask for a payment plan or other relief.

Either way, you’ll avoid penalties if you file either a regular income tax return or a request for a tax-filing extension by this year’s April 15 deadline.

Here are further details on the options available to file an extension.

More Time to File

If you haven’t finished filling out your return, the fastest, easiest and free way to get an automatic six-month extension is through the Free File link on In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an automatic tax-filing extension on Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Filing this form gives you until Oct. 15 to submit a return. To get the extension, you must estimate your tax liability on this form and pay any amount due.

By properly filing this form, you’ll avoid the late-filing penalty, normally 5 percent per month based on the unpaid balance that applies to returns filed after the deadline. In addition, any payment made with an extension request will reduce or eliminate interest and late-payment penalties that apply to payments made after April 15.

In addition to Free File, you can choose to request an extension through a paid tax preparer, using tax-preparation software, or by filing a paper Form 4868.
You can find more details on all filing and payment options at