How to Request an Extension of Time to File a Federal Tax Return

The deadline to file your tax return for the year 2021 is April 18, 2022. Returns must be filed online or postmarked by midnight on that date to avoid being counted as late. Learn why it’s critical to file your tax return on time and how to get an extension in the sections below.

Why Is It Important to File Your Tax Return on Time?

Because the IRS charges late fees, it’s critical to file your tax return on time. This is in addition to whatever interest you may owe if you don’t pay your taxes on time. For each month you are late in filing, the failure-to-file penalty is 5% of the taxes you owe. This is limited to a maximum of 25%.

If you owe $1,000 in taxes and don’t file your return until August, your return will be five months late. You’ll owe a penalty of 5% multiplied by 5 months, which is 25% or $250.

What Is a Tax Return Extension and How Does It Work?

You may simply be unprepared to file your tax return by April 15th. You may not have all of the necessary paperwork or be unable to meet with your accountant on time for a variety of reasons.

The IRS addresses this problem by automatically issuing a tax return extension to everyone who requests one. You must submit your request for an extension by the year’s tax filing date. It’s usually April 15th or the first Monday after April 15th.

What is the deadline for filing a tax extension?

When you ask for an extension, the IRS offers you six extra months to file your taxes. That implies your new tax return due is October 15 of the following year. It’s worth noting that, like the April 15 deadline, the October 15 deadline requires that the 15th fall on a workday. If October 15 falls on a weekend, the deadline is usually the following Monday. The date is October 17 this year.

How to Make a Request for an Extension

Individuals who need to file an extension for their tax return can use the IRS’s Free File service to fill out a form. While the IRS restricts who can use this technology to file a free tax return,

Give us your name, address, and phone number. If you’re filing jointly, this includes your name, address, Social Security number, and your spouse’s SSN.

  • Give an estimate of how much you would owe in taxes for the year.
  • Give the entire amount of tax you paid (or had deducted from your paychecks) for the year.
  • Determine whether you owe anything by calculating the difference.
  • To prevent late fees and interest, send a payment for what you owe.

All of these tasks are simplified when you use tax preparation software to file your return. You can enter all of the information you already have for your return, and the software will calculate an estimate of how much you may owe. It also fills in all of the blanks on the extension request form.

When you file your return in October, you should obtain a refund for the higher predicted amount.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Filing a Tax Return Extension

The automatic extension can be a tremendous help if you aren’t ready to file yet. You can fill out one simple form and rest assured that the IRS will give you a six-month grace period before auditing your return.

On the other hand, waiting to file increases your chance of tax return identity theft. Someone could use your information to file a bogus return and obtain a dishonest refund if you haven’t filed. You will not receive any refund owed to you if you do not file early. Those who want to get the most out of their tax refund

The Bottom Line on Extending Your Tax Return

You won’t be able to postpone your tax obligation by filing this extension, but you will avoid significant fines for failing to file. If you don’t have all of the information you’ll need to submit an accurate tax return—or one that gets you the biggest refund—by April 15, consider requesting an extension.

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