Tax Filing Deadline is April 15 – What if I Need a Tax Extension?
I’ve had a few readers come to me with this question in the last few weeks. With taxes due this Thursday, it’s cram time for a lot of people. As you rush to complete your taxes this year, you still want to ensure that you are diligent in your preparation efforts so that you are not holding up any red flags for the IRS to find.
First off, realize that you are not alone. 1 in 5 taxpayers don’t file their taxes until the final week ahead of the April 15 deadline. Last year, 27 million taxpayers waited until the final minute before the tax deadline. Take a deep breath. Here are some details on the tax filing deadline and what to do if you aren’t going to be able to meet it.
When is the 2012 Tax Filing Deadline?
For the 2012 tax year, the tax filing deadline is April 15, 2013. But what exactly does that mean?
Tax Filing Postmark & E-File Deadline
The April 15 tax deadline does not refer to when the IRS receives your tax return. It actually refers to the date that the tax return is postmarked. So if you mail out your tax return on April 15 by U.S. mail and the IRS receives your tax return after that date, your return won’t be considered late. The same rule applies for e-filing your taxes. If you e-file your taxes, you must do so by April 15th as well.
When is the Tax Deadline if I’m Out of the Country?
You are off the hook for now. You have an additional two months to file your taxes. Your tax filing deadline for 2012 taxes if out of country is June 17, 2013.
- You live outside the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of work is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or
- You are in military or naval service outside the United States and Puerto Rico.
If you qualify as being out of the country, you will still be eligible for the extension even if you are physically present in the United States.
Tax Extension Filing Deadline
If, for one reason or another, you are unable to file your tax return by the April 15 tax deadline, you can file for an IRS tax extension. Note that the extension must be postmarked by the April 15 deadline also.
How to File a Tax Extension
In order to file a tax extension, you will need to fill out IRS form 4868. Turbotax also offers a tax extension service. Note that filing the extension does not get you off of the hook, you still need to pay any estimated taxes by the April 15 deadline. If you don’t you will owe interest and possibly a penalty on your taxes owed.
The tax extension will allow simply to push back the deadline for sending in your 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, or 1040NR-EZ six months (4 month if you are out of the country). If you’re in country, the tax filing extension deadline is October 15, 2013.
Tax Filing Help
If you still haven’t purchased your tax software and aim to e-file by April 15, Turbotax and H&R Block are the two tax software prep programs that I would recommend. I used Turbotax last year and H&R Block this year and neither has disappointed.
Tax Deadline Discussion
- Have you still not filed your taxes?
- Did you apply for the tax extension?
- How are you preparing your taxes this year?