With an extension of time, you can leave more time for the preparation of the tax return. The extension of time not only serves to calm the nerves – it can also save money. Because those who covers miss the submission deadline, without having applied for an extension, may receive sanctions.


How to apply for an extension

The good news is that you can request an extension if you need more time. To do this, you must send the appropriate form, or e file your extension request by April 15th of the given tax year.  Note that in years where the 15th falls on a weekend, the actual date due may be later. Note that this is simply an extension for your return submission, not the taxes themselves. If you wish to receive an extension on the taxes due, you will need to contact the IRS and provide them with a letter that explains with as much detail as possible why you are applying for or need an extension. The reasons can be manifold: family problems, health problems, stays abroad or missing or pending documents. The letter also requires you to specify when you want to file your tax return.  Typically, they will agree to no more time then the 30th of September. Alternatively, you can call.


What happens if I do not meet the deadline?

If you do not meet the deadlines,  you will first receive a reminder letter from your tax office. It will specify a new deadline. If you also miss this date, you will receive another letter. In this letter you will be notified about a final deadline plus request for payment of a so-called penalty. If you do not meet this deadline, your income can be subject to garnishment.

Bottom line, most people who are looking for an extension, simply need more time.  If this is you, there is nothing wrong with doing this at all. In fact, in the long run, it may save you money in that you will have had more time to get your taxes right.  Just be sure that if you elect to go this route, you pay in any taxes due by the due date (typically April 15th).

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