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Running Late? Submit an Extension to File Taxes

By Tanya Roth, Esq. | Last updated on

Tax day is creeping up fast. Do you have your tax return ready? For self-employed or small business owners, you might not have to file your taxes in April, depending on when your year end lands. But if you are running a sole proprietorship, you might want to get cracking.

Unless, that is, you opt to file for an extension to file your tax return. If you aren't ready to file, there's no need to worry. 

Getting an extension is actually quite simple. Here's what you need to know:

File Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time for Individuals. This form is available on the IRS website and is automatic. It automatically grants you six extra months from the due date of your filing year (presumably April 15).

File Form 7004 for Certain Business Income Tax, Information and Other Returns. If you run a partnership or a corporation, this is the right form for you to file an extension.

Interest may apply. Tax filing extensions aren't extensions on your time to pay the taxes. They are an extension on your time to file taxes. If you anticipate that you may have to pay taxes, then you're better off trying to estimate what those taxes might be and pay them up front, even if you plan to file your return six months from now.

While the IRS will credit you on any overpayment, once your return is filed, they will also charge you interest on any amounts of underpayment (or non-payment) if you do not pay your taxes on the due date for the tax year. Sadly, though, you shouldn't anticipate receiving interest on any overpayment.

These extensions are automatic and you don't have to make a case before the IRS in order to claim entitlement to them. It's as easy as printing and signing the form. If you're running behind, don't fret. Just file an extension.

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