What If You’re Not Going to Get Your Taxes Done in Time?

What If You're Not Going to Get Your Taxes Done in Time?

Guess what? There’s just one week standing between you and the income tax filing deadline. Have you filed your tax return yet? If not, you’d better get moving!

By now, you should have long since received all of the necessary paperwork, including your W-2 and 1099 forms. If not, be sure to check out these two articles:

The good news is that, even if you won’t be able to get your hands on these forms over the next week, you may be able to reconstruct the necessary values from banks statements, pay stubs, etc.

But what if you won’t be able to get your taxes done in time? What then? The good news is that you’re entitled to an automatic, six month filing extension. All you have to do is ask. The bad news is that this extension still doesn’t get you out of the expectation to pay what’s due before April 18th.

Here’s how it works… To request an extension, simply fill out IRS Form 4868 – or you use your preferred tax prep software to make the request. The deadline for such requests is April 18th, 2011.

Unfortunately, you still have to estimate how much you’ll owe and submit a payment along with your extension request. This is a very important point because, if you don’t pay in at least 90% of your tax bill via withholding, quarterly estimated tax payments, and your final payment that goes in with Form 4868, you’re underpayment will be subject to 7% interest and up to 25% in penalties.

If you do choose to file an extension, you can claim credit for this lump sum payment on your final return by entering it on the appropriate line of your tax return:

» Form 1040, line 68
» Form 1040A, line 44 (include in total)
» Form 1040EZ, line 10 (include in total)

If you file a 1040A or 1040EZ, you should also enter the words “Form 4868” and the amount paid alongside the value on line 44 or 10. That’s it. Making this request is pretty straightforward, but it still takes a bit of figuring, so it’s in your best interest to tackle it before the absolute last minute. Good luck!

One Response to “What If You’re Not Going to Get Your Taxes Done in Time?”

  1. Anonymous

    i used turbo tax for mine , my daughters and apparently when i sent her boyfriends it said it was complete but we had to resend it. what kind of penalties are there for sending federal in late?

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