Extensions available as tax day looms | TheUnion.com

Extensions available as tax day looms

As the April tax-filing deadline nears, many taxpayers may rush to finish their tax returns or find they need extra time to get them done, according to a release.

The IRS recommends taxpayers file for an extension if they need one. Filing an extension will help taxpayers avoid paying penalties for filing a late return. Extensions provide more time to file, but not more time to pay any tax owed.

The deadline to file 2018 individual tax returns and pay taxes owed is Monday for most taxpayers. Mistakes can happen when hurrying to file a tax return by the due date. This can mean longer processing times and possible tax refund delays. Electronic filing is the best way to avoid common mistakes and file the most accurate tax return; it is also the most accurate way to file. The IRS estimates that about 70 percent of taxpayers can file their tax return at no charge by using IRS Free File software.

For taxpayers who cannot meet the April deadline, requesting a filing extension is easy and will prevent late-filing penalties. Taxpayers who need more time to file should follow these tips:

Request a filing extension. The easiest way to file an extension is to use IRS Free File. All taxpayers are eligible to use Free File to file a Form 4868. Simply review the Free File extension offers and select the software program of choice.

Automatic extensions with payments. Other fast, free and easy ways to get an extension include using IRS Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by paying with a credit or debit card. There is no need to file a separate Form 4868 extension request when making an electronic payment and indicating it is for an extension. The IRS will automatically count it as an extension. But keep in mind that while an extension grants additional time to file, tax payments are still due by the April deadline.

Alternatively, taxpayers may file Form 4868, Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, electronically or by mail.

Owe tax? Several payment options are available. If sending a check or money order, make it payable to the “U.S. Treasury.” Taxpayers who can’t pay what they owe also have options to consider.

Do a ‘Paycheck Checkup.’ The IRS recommends that everyone do a paycheck checkup early in 2019. It is especially important for anyone with a tax bill when they file their return, but it’s also important for anyone whose refund is larger or smaller than expected. By changing withholding now, taxpayers can get the refund they want next year. For those who owe, boosting tax withholding early in 2019 is the best way to head off a tax bill a year from now. In addition, taxpayers should always check their withholding when a major life event occurs or when their income changes.

Taxpayers may find additional help and resources on IRS.gov, including the IRS Services Guide.

Source: Internal Revenue Service

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