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Not ready to file taxes? Here’s how to get an extension


(NEXSTAR) – There are only a few days left to gather your documents, calm your nerves and hope for a good tax refund – but if you already know you’re unlikely to make the deadline, here’s how you can get an extension.

Most people’s last day to file in 2022 is April 18, but the Internal Revenue Service has a tax deadline extension for those who need a few extra months.

If you’re planning on pushing back your filing date, you can get an automatic six-month extension using the IRS’ Form 4868, make sure to do it before the April tax deadline to avoid late-filling penalties.

Your new deadline will be Oct. 17, 2022, but the IRS could make an exception and push it back even further for taxpayers living out of the country.

You can get a tax extension, but should you?

Filing for an extension can now easily be done online – you can use IRS Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or pay with a credit, debit card or digital wallet – but there are some things to keep in mind before hitting snooze on your 2021 tax return.

One key consideration is that the extension is for the paperwork, not the payment. So you’ll still need to estimate your tax liability and pay by April 18, using the same form.

The IRS reminds taxpayers looking for an extension that they should pay on time, even if they can’t give the full amount to reduce possible penalties.

While the late filing penalty is generally five percent per month, the penalty for late payments is usually .5 percent per month. According to the IRS, interest on the late payments, currently, four percent annually, is compounded daily. The IRS says it will work with those unable to make full payments, and most people can set up a payment plan.

Also worth noting is that you may already be able to file later in the year, depending on your circumstances.

There is an automatic two-month extension for citizens and resident aliens who work and live outside the U.S. or Puerto Rico. While they have until June 15 to file, they still need to make any tax payments by April 18.

Military members living outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico receive the same filing extension, and those people serving in combat zones have up to 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file returns and pay any taxes due.

Finally, if President Biden were to make a disaster area declaration, the IRS can postpone taxpayer deadlines for residents and businesses.

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