this photo, an Illinois Department of Revenue
employee offers assistance to income tax payers
at the Illinois Department of Revenue, in
Springfield, Ill. Even with the advent of
electronic filing, many Americans may not be
able to deliver their tax return before the
deadline Monday, April 15, 2013, at 11:59 p.m.
weekend may not be very relaxing for millions of
taxpayers. That's because they're beginning the
last-minute scramble to file their returns on Tax Day.
with the advent of electronic filing, many Americans
may not be able to deliver their tax return before the
Monday, 11:59 p.m. EDT deadline.
you're in this group, it may be OK. The IRS will give
you until Oct. 15 to file your return if you ask for
an extension by midnight Monday. Last year, 10.7
million Americans did just that.
an extension won't buy you more time if you owe Uncle
Sam any federal income taxes. And failing to pay by
Monday's deadline means you will incur interest
charges and fees on top of what you owe.
extension is not extending your payment time,"
says Jackie Perlman, principal tax analyst at the
research arm of H&R Block.
scrambling? Here are some guidelines for how to go
about filing for an extension on your tax return and
address a late filing if you owe income tax:
returns are due by midnight on Monday. If you're going
to miss the deadline, file a request for an extension
with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS accepts
extension requests several ways: By mail, via
tax-preparation software, through a paid tax preparer,
or online via the IRS website, www.irs.gov
THE RIGHT FORM
request the extension, you must fill out IRS Form
4868, which is available on the IRS website, through
most tax preparation software, as well as in public
libraries and post offices.
you opt to mail in the form it has to be postmarked by
Monday to be considered on time. Forms filed online on
the IRS website or by using tax software can be sent
in as late as 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday. One bonus of
filing online is the IRS will confirm receipt of the
request form right away.
HOW MUCH YOU OWE
you fill out the form, the IRS requires that you
estimate how much income taxes you owe and pay that
you file for an extension online, you can also pay
what you owe through an electronic funds withdrawal
from a checking or savings account.
IRS also accepts credit and debit cards, as well as
checks and money orders.
UP, AVOID PENALTIES
to pay your tax bill by the Monday deadline means
you'll incur a slew of interest and penalty charges on
what you owe.
IRS assesses a monthly penalty of 0.5 percent of the
balance owed, plus interest of 3 percent per year,
last thing you want to do is miss the tax filing
deadline and not ask for an extension. That triggers a
penalty of 5 percent of the tax owed for each month
the tax return is late.
it turns out you have a big balance due, don't make
the mistake of not filing," Perlman says.
"That's not going to help you."
A PAYMENT AGREEMENT
you can't pay the full amount you owe on time, you may
be able to set up a payment plan with the IRS.
who owe $50,000 or less, including penalties and
interest, can arrange to pay on a monthly basis for up
to 72 months. You can elect to do this before
receiving a late-payment notice from the IRS.
need to fill out and mail IRS Form 9465, which can be
downloaded on the IRS website, along with your tax
IRS also may determine you're eligible for an
"offer-in-compromise," which essentially
allows taxpayers to pay less than what they owe.
figure out if you're eligible, use the pre-qualifier
tool on the IRS website.
YOU ONLY GET 6 MONTHS EXTRA
the IRS accepts your extension request, you'll have
until Oct. 15 to file a complete tax return. The IRS
won't give any more time, says Perlman.
is the final, final (deadline)," she says.
"If you file after that, your return is
IF YOU'RE DUE A REFUND?
you've calculated that you're due a refund but won't
be able to file your return on time, it's not
necessary to file for an extension.
extension, for the most part, is for folks that owe
taxes and need to gather their paperwork," says
Anabel Marquez, a spokeswoman for the IRS. "There
won't be any penalties for not filing if a refund is
because you don't have to stick to Monday's deadline
doesn't mean Uncle Sam will hold on to your cash
forever, though. Tax refunds that are not claimed
within three years become property of the U.S.