Home » Won’t be ready to file your taxes on April 15? Here’s what to do

Won’t be ready to file your taxes on April 15? Here’s what to do

by The Grio

In case you weren’t already scrambling, taxes are due on April 15 — which is just a few short days away. As you likely already know, preparing to file your taxes can take a lot of time and effort, meaning getting it out of the way and done will be a huge sigh of relief for many. But if you are finding yourself up against time and falling short, you may need other options. 

Even though we file taxes annually, a lot can change over the course of a year. Maybe you bought or sold a house, got married or divorced, or had a baby. Maybe your income increased greatly, or you started a business. Whatever it is, life is going to life, and maybe you need a minute or two for your taxes to catch up. 

So if you haven’t gotten it all together in time to file your taxes on April 15, what can you do — and what happens if you do not file your taxes by the 15th? First, the legality of it all: Taxes are due April 15, all the time. The only time that changes is if the 15th falls on a weekend or conflicts with a holiday; then, you typically get until the 17th. Barring those circumstances, April 15 has been the filing deadline since 1955, so the best thing you can do is get those taxes in on time.

However, as stated earlier, life happens. So if you just cannot get your taxes in by or on April 15, here is what you can do:

First, ignore the inclination to do nothing. So many people do this, to the tune of the IRS assessing billions in penalties for tax returns not filed on time. This is not something that you can ignore or get to when you have time. Not filing anything can actually cost you more money than you might eventually owe. 

Instead of doing nothing, file for an extension. You can file IRS form 4868, a no-cost, penalty-free document taxpayers can submit to the IRS if they need more time to file their individual federal tax returns. By filing for an Automatic Extension of Time, you may have an additional six months — or until Oct. 15 —…

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