Tax Procrastinator’s Cheat Sheet: Last Minute Tax Filing & Tax Extensions

tax procrastinator's cheat sheet

Happy Tax Day! If you’re freaking out because you haven’t done your taxes yet and today sneaked up on you, don’t worry! FatWallet to the rescue to help you handle your lack of preparedness with financial finesse.

Today’s post is a choose your own adventure with two main options: File your taxes last minute, or file a tax extension form to give yourself six extra months.

Options to File Last Minute:

Unless you’re reading this post late at night or after April 15th, you still may have time to submit your taxes today. You can file electronically before midnight using a tax software program, through an accountant, or the IRS website. The other option is to print the appropriate tax forms and get them post marked for today before the post office closes.

Don’t forget to reference our blog post on 2014 Edition – Tax Deductions You Cannot Miss, as well as Tips for Last Minute Tax Filers!

How to File a Tax Extension

What if you are out of time to file? Filing a tax extension will buy you an extra 6 months to file your taxes but it will not extend your tax payment date. You will have to estimate the tax liability you owe, subtract what taxes you’ve already paid, and pay the balance you owe by 4/15/14. The tax extension will give you until October 15, 2014 to file your 2013 taxes.

There are 3 Ways to Request a Tax Extension:

  1. Pay all or part of your estimated income tax by credit card or debit card with the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System with form 4868.
  2. Using a tax software program that uses IRS e-File or your tax pro who offers e-File; FreeFile.
  3. File a paper tax extension postmarked by 4/15/14; IRS Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.Pay attention to page 4 of Form 4868 for the specific mailing location you should use depending on where you live and if you’re sending a payment with your tax extension or not.

Even if you don’t have the money to pay your tax bill, filing a tax extension is a much better option than not filing at all. The tax penalty for not filing is 5% of your tax bill each month for 5 months vs. the .5% penalty per month for not paying your tax bill on time.

Here is a link to your electronic tax payment options. Be sure you have your copy of last year’s (2012) taxes with you for verification.

If you’re reading this post after April 15 don’t panic! There are helpful resources in this post: Missing the Tax Deadline Isn’t the End of the World.

:) Heather

P.S. Make sure you get your money’s worth today with our list of Tax Day Freebies & Deals!

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