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Here’s what you need to know about filing a tax extension in 2018

April 16
10:29 2018

If you need more time to complete your tax return in 2018, a tax extension is an easy way to get it. The form to request an extension is short, and in most cases, an extension is granted automatically. Before you submit your application for an extension, however, there are a few things you should know about the process and what a tax extension does (and does not) do.

The procedure is easy and automatic

If you don’t have all of the documentation you need to meet the standard tax filing deadline of April 17, or if you just need a little more time to get your return submitted, a tax extension can get you more time to file. A tax extension gives you an additional six months to file, and because Tax Day is ordinarily on April 15, the extended tax deadline for 2018 is Oct. 15.

Filing for an extension is rather easy. You can do it by filing IRS Form 4868 — also known as the Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. You can submit it either in paper form or online, and if you file your taxes with a software program, such as TurboTax, there’s often a way to file through your chosen program as well.

Filing a tax extension is completely free. And as the name of the form implies, in most cases, an extension is automatically granted — meaning that there are no special qualifications you need to meet. Any taxpayer who requests the additional time is typically granted the extension.

Here’s what a tax extension doesn’t do

Here’s the most important point. A tax extension does not change the tax paymentdeadline. It simply gives you more time to file your return.

Any tax liability is still due by the April 17 deadline. In fact, when you file for an extension, you’re asked to estimate how much you’re going to owe the IRS.

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