Action Line: Things to know about tax filing extensions
BY PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
4/17/12 at 7:03 AM
Read other stories to help you with your 2011 tax forms.
Dear Action Line: There's no way I'm going to get my tax stuff to my tax accountant in time to have it filed on time. How do I get extra time to file? I think it's called an "extension." - W.N., Tulsa.
"Even though the tax filing deadline is later than usual this year (April 17) many taxpayers still need more time to file their tax returns," said Internal Revenue Service spokesman David Stell. "If you need extra time, you can get an automatic six-month extension of time to file from the IRS."
Here are seven important things you need to know about filing an extension:
File on time even if you can't pay: If you completed your return but you are unable to pay the full amount of tax due, do not request an extension. File your return on time and pay as much as you can. To pay the balance, apply online for a payment plan using the Online Payment Agreement application at tulsaworld.com/OnlinePaymentAgreement or send "Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request" (tulsaworld.com/form9465) with your return. If you are unable to make payments, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to discuss your options.
Extra time to file: An extension will give you extra time to get your paperwork to the IRS, but it does not extend the time you have to pay any tax due. You will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April 17 deadline, plus you may owe penalties.
Form to file: Request an extension to file by submitting "Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return" ( tulsaworld.com/IRSForm4868) to the IRS. It must be postmarked by April 17, 2012. You also can make an extension-related electronic credit card payment. For more information about extension-related credit card payments, see Form 4868.
E-file extension: You can e-file an extension request using tax preparation software with your own computer or by going to a tax preparer who has the software. You must e-file the request by midnight on April 17. The IRS will acknowledge receipt of the extension request if you e-file your extension request.
Traditional free file and free file fillable forms: You can use both free file options to file an extension at tulsaworld.com/IRSFreeFile
Electronic funds withdrawal: If you ask for an extension via one of the electronic methods, you can also pay any expected balance due by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal from a checking or savings account, using your bank routing and account numbers, by going to tulsaworld.com/electropay or calling 1-800-829-1040.
Original Print Headline: Things to know about tax extensions
Submit Action Line questions by calling 918-699-8888, emailing phil.mulkins@TulsaWorld.com or by mailing them to Tulsa World Action Line, PO Box 1770, Tulsa OK 74102-1770.