For the typical taxpayer, they have until around April 15 to file their income tax returns for the prior tax year. The deadline for the 2021 tax year was April 18, 2022. Yet sometimes there are reasons why a tax filer can’t get their tax returns to the IRS by this deadline.
Luckily, the IRS is willing to offer an extension to most filers to submit their income tax returns. Even if you get this extension, you want to get your tax returns in as soon as possible. But before we explain why, let’s quickly look at how to get a tax filing extension.
How to Extend Your Tax Filing Deadline
Individual taxpayers wishing to get more time to file their individual income tax returns have two main methods available. First, they can estimate any taxes owed and pay that to the IRS while also indicating that the payment is for a filing extension using Direct Pay, a credit card, a debit card or the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.
Second, they can submit Form 4868 to get a six-month extension (or four months if the extension is due to being outside the country). This means many taxpayers getting an extension to file their 2021 tax returns should have until October 17, 2022. Generally speaking, the IRS will grant the extension as long as the taxpayer properly follows the steps to request it.
What You Should Do After Getting an Extension
Assuming you get an extension from the IRS to file your 2021 taxes, there are several reasons why you should work as diligently as possible to file your return quickly, even before the deadline.
First, the extension only applies to your obligation to file a tax return. This means if you owe additional taxes to the IRS for the 2021 tax year, they’re still due by the original April 18, 2022 deadline.
Second, you could be subject to a penalty if your taxes haven’t been paid in full by the original April 18 deadline. One way around this penalty is to get an extension from the IRS to pay your taxes using Form 1127. But this extension for paying your taxes (as opposed to filing your return) is only granted if you can show undue hardship or have a reasonable reason for needing more time.
Third, any interest on unpaid taxes will still accrue, even though you receive an extension to pay taxes owed or file your tax return.
Fourth, you could be missing out on any number of tax benefits. For example, if you overpaid in taxes for the 2021 tax year, waiting to file your 2021 return could delay when you get your tax refund check. There may also be other tax benefits that you’re missing out on until you file your return, such as:
- Saver’s Credit
- American Opportunity Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Earned Income Tax Credit
- Child and Dependent Care Credit
- Recovery Rebate Credit
Despite having an extension to file your taxes, you still want to get your return filed as soon as possible. Not only because you could be missing out on tax benefits, but an extension to file does not automatically result in an extension to pay any taxes owed.
The good news is Kienitz Tax Law is here to help you with your tax issues. Schedule your FREE consultation today!