If you requested an extension to file your 2017 income taxes, your deadline is approaching. Tax payers who requested an extension have until October 15 to file their income tax return for last year.
How to request an extension
Getting an extension doesn’t come automatically if you fail to file your return by the April deadline. You need to request an extension from the IRS. The good news is, anyone—regardless of income—can request an extension. You can do so easily by completing and submitting Form 4868.
If you forgot to request an extension by Tax Day
It’s always best to request an extension before the regular April tax deadline. However, if you haven’t requested an extension yet, it’s still worthwhile to do now. This will immediately stop any further penalties and interest from accruing. In addition, if you’re due to receive a refund this year, you won’t be charged any penalties for filing a late tax return.
Why to file by October 15
If you fail to file your tax return by October 15, the IRS can charge you a failure-to-file penalty. This penalty can be 10 times higher than the penalty for failing to pay your taxes. Therefore, it’s better to file and not pay than not to file at all.
What to do if you can’t pay
If you can’t afford to pay the full amount you owe in taxes, it’s always a good idea to pay as much as you can right away. This helps to limit any interest or penalties you could be charged for late payment. You can also apply for additional time to pay off your taxes or set up an installment plan.