Tax day is coming up fast–this year it falls right on April 15. But what if you need more time? You can file a 4868 form to extend your deadline until October 15. Just bear in mind that you still have to pay your estimated amount due by April 15.
To get an extension, go to the IRS site and grab form 4868, which is the application for an automatic extension. If you send this form in by April 15, it buys you six months of extra time to file — your new deadline will be Oct. 15. You generally can’t get more time than that, so make it count.
Anyone can request one, and the IRS doesn’t need to know why. The bad news? You still have to pay what you owe in taxes on time — meaning by April 15.
The first time I filed for an extension, I didn’t realize this, and I had to shell out hundreds of dollars in additional penalties and interest. So don’t make my mistake.
If you can’t file or pay right way, you’re not completely out of luck. The only way to get out of those late payment penalties is if you have a really good excuse, and the IRS is pretty picky about those. The most commonly accepted reasons are health-related, and you’ll have to explain yours in writing.