April 18 is this year’s tax filing deadline, also known as Tax Day! It’s a day when we can all celebrate the end of another tax season. If you’ve already filed your 2015 tax return, congratulations – enjoy the Tax Day freebies and special offers! (Check back on Tax Lounge soon for details.) If you haven’t filed your taxes, you may be hesitant to start celebrating just yet. We’re here to give you reason to relax – A tax extension may be just what you need.

What is a Tax Extension?

A tax extension is an allowance of extra time to file your taxes if you cannot complete your return by the deadline. You can request an IRS Tax Extension by April 18. This gives you an automatic six-month filing extension and more importantly, helps you avoid a late filing penalty. You’ll have until October 17, 2016 to file your 2015 tax return.

  • If You Think You’ll Owe

Filing an extension does NOT give you extra time to pay taxes owed. You’ll need to estimate how much tax you owe and include that payment with Form 4868. Anything you owe will be due by the April 18 deadline, or you may face a late payment penalty. If you’re not able to pay the full amount, installments or other IRS options are available.

  • If You’re Expecting a Refund

Good news! You don’t need to file for a tax extension at all, if you are expecting a refund. The IRS actually gives you three years to submit your return and claim your refund money.

How Do I File for an Extension?

Complete Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Tax Return and submit it to the IRS by April 18. Here’s the form breakdown:

 

 

Apply for a tax return extension with Liberty Online for free! If you’re not sure what your best option is or need some help estimating your tax liability, a professional tax preparer can help. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for tax tips and info all year long.