How to Get a Free Federal Tax Filing Delay
I am not a tax professional. But I am sure familiar with tax form stress. So I thought I would tell you how easy it is to get a federal filing delay. Keep in mind. Filing for a delay does not mean you get away without paying your taxes on April 15th. Fail to pay those taxes on the 15th at your peril. There are methods you can take with the IRS to delay payment, but I am not going to address those here. I recommend Kelly Erb’s TaxGirl Blog if you need more detailed help. Regardless, make sure everything is done no later than the 15th.
Anyway, if you need obtain a delay in filing your federal taxes, nothing could be easier. TurboTax provides an easy and free extension filing page on its website. You can find it here. The form is just a matter of answering a few questions. TurboTax submits it for you and tells you when it is accepted. Since the federal delay is automatic, unless you mess up the form, it should be accepted. I suppose if you have a negative history with the tax folks you might have a problem.
Pay your Estimated Taxes
Now you have two choices, you can find a provider and pay online (TurboTax gives a list) or you can complete tax form 4868 and send it along with a check. Either way, make sure you do so by April 15.
Don’t Forget about State and Local Taxes
When you complete the TurboTax form, it will help you a bit with your state taxes as well. TurboTax will most likely provide you with the form you need to complete. Complete the form, and mail in your taxes.
TurboTax does not help with the filing delay for your local taxes, that will either require a visit to your local tax website, a call to the local tax bureau, or perhaps a letter including copies of your state and federal delay request. Your mileage may vary, so be sure you obey your state and local rules. Also, remember, you must pay estimated taxes for state and local by April 15th as well.
Do NOT Ignore your Taxes on April 15
In my experience, the number one way people get in trouble when it comes to money is by ignoring problems. This is true with debt collectors and it is true with taxes. The absolute worst thing you can do is ignore your taxes on April 15th. If you underpay you will have penalties, sure, but if you fail to file for the delay your penalties will increase substantially.