Don't File a Tax Extension, File Your Return

Haven't filed your taxes yet?  Considering filing a tax extension?  Read this article before you do, because tax extensions are fool's gold.  Why? You may not need to file an extension and if you do file an extension, you still have to pay the taxes you owe. The following info applies to federal tax returns, many states have different rules.  

File Your Taxes Now

 

tax extension

 

Why Don't I Need to File a Tax Extension?

Tax extensions are one of the most misunderstood options you have when filing your taxes. There are two important reasons that filing a tax extension is a waste of time:

  1. If you're getting a refund, as two-thirds of all taxpayers are, you are not required to file a tax extension if you choose to file your taxes after April 15th.  You have three years to file your return with no late fees or penalties.  April 15th is a payment deadline, not necessarily a filing deadline.
  2. If you're NOT getting a refund (you owe additional taxes), you still have to pay at least 90% of the taxes you owe by April 15th.  That's right, an extension does't buy you any extra time to pay the taxes you owe.  Plus, you still have to prepare enough of your tax return to determine if you owe and how much you owe.  Once you've done this much work, you might as well go the last mile and just finish and file your return.

 

So What Should I Do Instead of Filing a Tax Extension?

File your tax return!  As mentioned above, if you're getting a refund there is no need to file an extension.  Don't get us wrong, we're not suggesting that you extend the interest free loan you've given Uncle Sam, but if you can't file by 4/15 and you're sure you're getting a refund - don't sweat it.  Just file when.  We do recommend you file in 2015, as most tax software companies raise their prices for prior year returns.

If you owe additional taxes, then you definitely should file by April 15th. Otherwise you must:  1) File an extension by April 15, 2015, 2) pay 90% or more of taxes owed by April 15th, 3) File your return and pay remaining taxes owed by October 15, 2015.

  • If you don't file your return or an extension by April 15, 2015, a late filing penalty applies:
    • The late filing penalty is 5% of the additional taxes owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) your return is late, up to a maximum of 25%.
    • The late filing penalty is 10 times higher than the late payment penalty. If you can’t pay your tax bill and didn’t file an extension, at least file your return as soon as possible! You can always amend it later.
  • And, a late payment penalty applies if you don’t pay 90% or more of taxes owed by April 15, 2015, whether you filed an extension or not.
    • The late payment penalty is 0.5% (1/2 of 1 percent) of the additional tax owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) the owed tax remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 25%.

In other words, you're not getting off the hook for the taxes you owe and you're going to expose yourself to more late fees, penalties, and headaches.

 

What Else Do I Need To Know About Tax Extensions?

As mentioned above, an extension does NOT give you any extra time to pay the IRS the taxes you owe.  If you're stuck and unable to pay the taxes you owe, contact the IRS immediately and work out a payment plan.

We're not advocating filing late or taking unnecessary risks.  If there is any chance you owe additional taxes, you need to pay them by April 15th and file your tax return or an extension.  We recommend you spend that time and energy completing your return, not filing an extension.

 

File Your Taxes Now

    This article also answers these questions: 1040 extension 1040 tax extension 4868 e file 4868 extension online 4868 tax extension apply for tax extension applying for tax extension april 15 tax extension due date automatic extension irs automatic tax extension can i file a tax extension can i file a tax extension online can i file an extension on my taxes can i file for a tax extension online can i file for tax extension online can i file tax extension online can you file a tax extension online can you file for a tax extension online can you file for tax extension online can you file tax extension online deadline for filing tax extension deadline for filing taxes with extension deadline for tax extension deadline to file tax extension deadline to file taxes with extension e file 4868 e file a tax extension e file extension e file extension form 4868 e file extension online e file federal tax extension e file for tax extension e file form 4868 e file tax extension e file tax extension form 4868 e file tax extension irs efile 4868 e-file federal tax extension online efile tax extension e-file tax extension for free efile tax return electronic tax extension electronically file tax extension electronically file tax extension online extend tax deadline extension for filing taxes extension for taxes extension form extension form for taxes extension irs extension on taxes extension tax extension tax form extension taxes extension to file extension to file taxes extension to pay taxes fed tax extension fed tax extension form federal extension federal extension form federal income tax extension due date federal income tax extension form federal income tax extension online federal tax extension federal tax extension deadline federal tax extension due date federal tax extension form federal tax extension form 4868 federal tax extension form online federal tax extension forms federal tax extension online federal tax extension to pay federal tax extensions federal tax filing extension federal tax form extension federal tax payment extension federal tax return extension form federal taxes extension federal taxes extension form file a extension on taxes file a federal tax extension file a free tax extension online file a tax extension file a tax extension electronically file a tax extension online file a tax extension online for free file a tax return extension file an extension file an extension for taxes file an income tax extension file an irs extension file an tax extension file an tax extension online file and extension for taxes file business tax extension file extension file extension for taxes file extension irs file extension on taxes file extension online file extension tax file extension taxes file extension with irs file extensions file federal income tax extension online file federal tax extension file federal tax extension online file federal tax extension online free file for a tax extension file for a tax extension online file for a tax extension online free file for an extension file for extension file for extension taxes file for federal tax extension file for income tax extension file for irs extension file for tax extension file for tax extension online file for tax extension online free file for tax return extension file free tax extension file free tax extension online file income tax file income tax extension file income tax extension online file income tax extension online free file irs extension file irs extension online file irs extension online free file irs tax extension file irs tax extension online free file late file online tax extension file personal tax extension file tax deadline file tax extension file tax extension 4868 file tax extension electronically file tax extension electronically for free file tax extension for free file tax extension form file tax extension free file tax extension online file tax extension online free file tax extensions file tax return extension file tax return extension electronically file taxes deadline file taxes extension file taxes online irs filing a federal tax extension filing a tax extension filing a tax extension online filing a tax return extension filing an extension filing an extension for taxes filing an income tax extension filing an irs extension filing an tax extension filing extension filing extension for taxes filing federal tax extension filing federal tax extension form filing for a federal tax extension filing for a tax extension filing for an extension filing for an extension on taxes deadline filing for extension filing for extension on taxes filing for federal tax extension filing for income tax extension filing for tax extension filing for tax extension online filing for tax return extension filing income tax extension filing income tax extension online free filing irs extension filing tax extension filing tax extension deadline filing tax extension online filing tax extension online for free filing tax extensions filing tax return extension filing taxes extension filing taxes extension deadline form 4868 form 4868 online form 4868 tax extension form for extension to file taxes form for filing tax extension form for tax extension form tax extension form to file extension form to file for tax extension form to file tax extension free e file tax extension free e file tax extension online free efile tax extension free federal tax extension free file tax extension free irs extension online free irs tax extension online free online tax extension free tax extension free tax extension file online free tax extension filing free tax extension form free tax extension online get a tax extension get tax extension get tax extension online getting a tax extension how can i file a tax extension how can i file for a tax extension how do i file a federal tax extension how do i file a tax extension how do i file a tax extension for free how do i file an extension for my taxes how do i file for a tax extension how do i file for a tax extension electronically how do i file for an extension on my taxes how do i file for income tax extension how do i file for tax extension how do i file tax extension how do i get a tax extension how do i get an extension on my taxes how do you file a tax extension how do you file an extension for taxes how do you file an extension on your taxes how do you file for a tax extension how do you file for an extension on taxes how do you file for an extension on your taxes how do you file for tax extension how do you file taxes how do you file your taxes how do you get a tax extension how file a tax extension how file tax extension how long is a tax extension how to apply for a tax extension how to apply for tax extension how to do a tax extension how to e file tax extension with the irs how to extend tax filing deadline how to file a extension for taxes how to file a federal tax extension how to file a tax extension how to file a tax extension electronically how to file a tax extension online how to file a tax extension online for free how to file a tax return extension how to file an extension how to file an extension for taxes how to file an extension on taxes how to file an extension on your taxes how to file an extension with the irs how to file an income tax extension how to file an irs extension how to file an irs tax extension how to file an tax extension how to file extension how to file extension for taxes how to file extension on taxes how to file federal income tax extension online how to file federal tax extension how to file for a extension on taxes how to file for a federal tax extension how to file for a tax extension how to file for a tax extension online how to file for a tax extension online free how to file for a tax return extension how to file for an extension how to file for an extension for taxes how to file for an extension on taxes how to file for an extension on your taxes how to file for an income tax extension how to file for an irs extension how to file for an tax extension how to file for an tax extension electronically how to file for extension how to file for extension on tax return how to file for extension on taxes how to file for extension with irs how to file for federal tax extension how to file for income tax extension how to file for irs extension how to file for tax extension how to file for tax extension electronically how to file for tax extension online how to file for tax return extension how to file income tax extension how to file irs extension how to file irs tax extension how to file tax extension how to file tax extension electronically how to file tax extension electronically free how to file tax extension online how to file tax extension online free how to file tax return extension how to file taxes extension how to file taxes online how to get a tax extension how to get a tax extension online how to get an extension on taxes how to get an extension on your taxes how to get extension on taxes how to get tax extension how to get tax extension online how to request a tax extension how to request tax extension how to tax extension income tax deadline income tax extension income tax extension deadline income tax extension due date income tax extension form income tax extension forms income tax extension online income tax extensions income tax filing extension income tax return extension individual tax extension individual tax extension due date individual tax extension form individual tax return extension individual tax return extension due date irs 4868 e file irs automatic extension irs e file extension irs e file extension 4868 irs e file extension online irs e file form 4868 irs e file tax extension irs e-file 4868 irs extension irs extension deadline irs extension form irs extension forms irs extension online irs extension to file irs extension to file form irs extensions irs federal tax extension irs file an extension irs file extension irs file extension form irs file for extension irs file tax extension irs file taxes irs file taxes online irs filing an extension irs filing extension irs filing extension form irs filing forms irs filing taxes irs form 4868 online irs form extension irs form for extension irs form for tax extension irs form tax extension irs forms extension irs forms tax extension irs income tax extension irs income tax extension form irs personal tax extension irs tax deadline extension irs tax deadlines irs tax extension irs tax extension deadline irs tax extension electronically irs tax extension form irs tax extension form e file irs tax extension form online irs tax extension forms irs tax extension online irs tax extension online free irs tax extensions irs tax file extension irs tax filing extension irs tax filing extension form irs tax filing extension forms irs tax form extension irs tax forms extension irs tax return extension irs tax return extension form irs taxes extension irs.gov tax extension last day for tax extension last day to file tax extension last day to file taxes with extension military tax extension need to file a tax extension online federal tax extension online tax extension online tax extension filing online tax extension form online tax extension free penalty for filing tax extension personal income tax extension personal tax extension personal tax extension deadline personal tax extension form personal tax return extension personal taxes extension due date request a tax extension request extension for taxes request tax extension request tax extension online submit tax extension online tax day extension tax deadline extension tax extension tax extension 4868 tax extension deadline tax extension due date tax extension e file tax extension efile tax extension federal tax extension file tax extension filing tax extension filing deadline tax extension for business tax extension for llc tax extension form tax extension form 4868 tax extension form irs tax extension form online tax extension forms tax extension irs tax extension irs e file tax extension online tax extension online free tax extension online irs tax extension penalty tax extension request tax extensions tax file extension tax file extension deadline tax file for extension tax filing extension tax filing extension deadline tax filing extension form tax filing extensions tax form 4868 tax form extension tax form extension deadline tax form for extension tax forms extension tax payment extension tax refund extension tax return extension tax return extension deadline tax return extension form tax return extensions tax returns extension taxes due extension taxes extension taxes extension deadline taxes extension form taxes file an extension taxes file extension taxes file for extension taxes filing extension us tax extension us tax extension deadline us tax extension form what is a tax extension what is the deadline for tax extension when is the last day for tax extension when to file tax extension where to file federal tax extension where to file form 4868 where to file tax extension where to mail tax extension who can file a tax extension