Get an extension if you can’t file on time

Posted on Apr 8, 2011

April 18 is the due date for filing your 2010 tax return. If you won’t have all your tax information assembled in time to meet the filing deadline, getting an extension will give you an extra six months – until October 17, 2011 – to file your return.

Over the years, the IRS has made requesting an extension easier. The extension is automatic; you simply have to file Form 4868 with the IRS by the April 18 filing deadline. Be aware, however, that an extension to file does not extend your time to pay. The IRS will still assess interest on any unpaid tax balance. In addition, unless you pay at least 90% of your estimated tax liability by April 18, you may be hit with a late-payment penalty.

If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad, you have until June 15, 2011, to file your 2010 return. This does not require the filing of an extension form. This two-month extension does not apply to taxpayers who are just traveling outside the U.S. on April 18. When you file your tax return, you must attach a statement showing that you qualified for the extension. If additional time beyond June 15 is needed, Form 2350 should be filed to obtain an automatic extension until October 17, 2011. Interest will be calculated on any balance due from the April 18 due date.

Military personnel serving in combat qualify for an extension for filing returns and paying tax for the period of combat service plus 180 days.

For additional information or filing assistance, contact our office.

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