Monday, March 28, 2011

How to File for a Tax Extension

Seal of the Internal Revenue ServiceImage via Wikipedia

If you can’t file your federal tax return by the April 18, 2011 deadline, you can file for an extension. It’s important to remember, though, that an extension to file is not an extension to pay any taxes you might owe -- the extension only covers filing of the actual paperwork.

Failure to pay a balance owed to the IRS, regardless of requested extensions, results in penalties for late filing and possibly fees. State tax laws vary, so if you need to learn how to get a state tax extension, you should consult your state's specific tax instructions.

For most taxpayers, to get an extension until Oct. 17, 2011, you’ll need to submit Form 4868 by April 18.

1. Your Social Security number

2. Your spouse's Social Security number, if you’re filing a joint tax return

3. Your complete mailing address

4. Your total tax liability, which can be found on line 60 of Form 1040.

5. Total amount of your tax payments – found on line 71 of Form 1040.

6. Your balance due -- if you don’t owe additional tax, you can enter zero here. Otherwise, you will use the total tax due shown on line 75 of your Form 1040.

If you need help with these numbers, click here for How to File Your Taxes.

If you don’t owe additional taxes, make a copy of the form for your records. If you do have a balance due, you can send a check or money order, (simply include that with your form and be sure to write your social security number on the check), or you can pay electronically via the IRS website.

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