Form 4868 is the form administered by the IRS to allow tax payers an extended amount of time to file their taxes, through Oct 15. However, this form and no other process will extend the amount of time you have to pay your taxes penalty free. If you can't get your taxes submitted by the Apr 15 deadline, you will need to submit Form 4868.
Here are the three most important questions related to filing an IRS tax extension form:
- When should I file an income tax extension?
- What to do after I file an income tax extension?
- How do I file an extension for state taxes?
When should I file an income tax extension?
You should file an income tax extension by Apr 15. There are three options to file your extension. You can either download Form 4868 from the IRS website; you can paper-file an extension; or you can file an extension online via the TurboTax website effective Mar 15. The latter method is a fast, free, and easy method to file.
After filing your 2012 tax extension, once approved, you will receive an email confirmation from the IRS. It is important to have your estimated payment in by Apr 15. If you can't pay the full amount, make a partial payment.
If you find that you can't pay your taxes by Apr 15, you should also apply for an IRS installment agreement to make monthly payments. You will however still be responsible for late fees and interest charges. In the meantime, you have until Oct 15 to gather all of your necessary documentation, and file your taxes.
It is worse to not file than it is to not pay, that is if you actually owe the IRS. You will also have until Oct 19 to resubmit your tax return, if it were rejected.
Filing a State tax extension
If you find you need to file an extension with your state, it is a similar process. Depending upon your state, you may be required to submit that states extension form or it may be an automatic process if you've filed a federal extension. TurboTax will have your states information available Mar 15 or you can walk through the State Taxes interview online and look for the file an extension option.