2014-04-11 / Community

IRS: Can’t File By April 15?

Thousands Will File Extensions

The Internal Revenue Service sent out a notice reminding taxpayers that quick and easy solutions are available if they can’t file their returns or pay their taxes on time, and they can even request payment options online. The IRS expects more than 634,000 New York taxpayers will file for an extension.

The IRS says don’t panic. Tax-filing extensions are available to taxpayers who need more time to finish their returns. Remember, this is an extension of time to file; not an extension of time to pay. However, taxpayers who are having trouble paying what they owe may qualify for payment plans and other relief.

Either way, taxpayers will avoid stiff penalties if they file either a regular income tax return or a request for a taxfiling extension by this year’s April 15 deadline. Taxpayers should file even if they can’t pay the full amount due. Here are further details on the options available.

More Time to File

People who haven’t finished filling out their return can get an automatic sixmonth extension. The fastest and easiest way to get the extra time is through the Free File link on IRS.gov to electronically request an automatic tax-filing extension on Form 4868.

Filing this form gives taxpayers until October 15 to file a return. To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and should also pay any amount due.

Besides Free File, taxpayers can choose to request an extension through a paid tax preparer, using tax-preparation software or by filing a paper Form 4868, available on IRS.gov.

Some taxpayers get more time to file without having to ask for it. These include:  Taxpayers abroad. U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work abroad, as well as members of the military on duty outside the U.S., have until June 16 to file. Tax payments are still due April 15.  Members of the military and others serving in Afghanistan or other combat zone localities.  People affected by certain recent natural disasters.

More Time to Pay

Taxpayers who have finished their returns should file by the regular April 15 deadline, even if they can’t pay the full amount due. In many cases, those struggling with unpaid taxes qualify for one of several relief programs, including the following:  Most people can set up a payment agreement with the IRS online in a matter of minutes. Those who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest can use the Online Payment Agreement to set up a monthly payment agreement for up to 72 months. Taxpayers can choose this option even if they have not yet received a bill or notice from the IRS. With the Online Payment

Agreement, no paperwork is required, there is no need to call, write or visit the IRS and qualified taxpayers can avoid the filing of a Notice of Federal Tax

Lien if one was not previously filed. Alternatively, taxpayers can request a payment agreement by filing Form 9465. This form can be downloaded from

IRS.gov and mailed along with a tax return, bill or notice.  Some struggling taxpayers may qualify for an offer-in-compromise. This is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. The IRS looks at the taxpayer’s income and assets to make a determination regarding the taxpayer’s ability to pay. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier, a free online tool available on IRS.gov

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