If you got a tax extension back in April, it’s time to put your tax return at the top of your to-do list again — those extensions expire today, Oct. 15, 2018. Here’s how it works.
Does this apply to me?
- If you filed IRS Form 4868 on or before the April 2018 filing deadline, you had until today, Oct. 15 — an extra six months — to file your tax return.
- If you didn’t file IRS Form 4868 on or before the April 2018 filing deadline, and you didn’t file your return either, you’d better get on it right away — your taxes are likely very, very late. The IRS can assess interest on your outstanding tax bill, as well as failure-to-file penalties and failure-to-pay penalties.
What happens if I miss this October filing deadline?
- You’ll owe more interest. A tax extension gives you more time to file your return, not more time to pay.
- You may owe a higher late-payment penalty. The IRS’ late-payment penalty normally is 0.5% per month of the outstanding tax not paid by the April deadline. The maximum penalty is 25%. You might catch a break if you paid at least 90% of your actual tax liability by the April deadline and you pay the rest when you file your tax return.
- You may owe a late-filing penalty. The IRS can also sock you with a late-filing penalty of 5% of the amount due for every month or partial month your tax return is late. The maximum penalty is 25% of the amount due.
How can I get an extension for my next tax return?
If you already know you’ll need more time to do your taxes in 2019, be sure to file IRS Form 4868 on or before the tax filing deadline, which will be April 15 next year.
- Again, getting an extension does not give you more time to pay taxes you owe — it only gives you more time to file your tax return. When you file for an extension, you can estimate what you owe and send some or all of that with your extension request. If the estimated payment ends up being less than what you actually owe, you’ll likely need to pay interest on the difference. The longer that’s outstanding, the more interest you may rack up.
- Don’t blow off filing just because you can’t pay the bill. The IRS offers installment plans if you can’t pay your taxes.
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