April 15th. For some people, the date means little. For others — particularly those who have not yet filed their income taxes — the mere mention of the day fills them with anxiety.
Maybe the months slipped away and you simply never got around to organizing your receipts and filing a tax return. Perhaps you knew you would owe money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or to the state of Connecticut, so you kept pushing it off. Or maybe you had other reasons for waiting.
In any case, you still have options. Even if you are unable to file your federal tax return by April 15, the IRS will likely grant you an extension. Here is how it works:
- Visit the IRS website and submit an extension request online. (Alternately, you can talk to your professional tax preparer or submit a request through the mail.)
- When the IRS grants the extension, you will gain six more months to complete your federal return. This means you don't have to finish filling out all those complex forms until October 15.
- The extension protects you from having to pay a penalty for filing late, potentially saving you a significant amount of money.
One important thing to note, however, is that gaining extra time to file your tax return is not the same as gaining extra time to pay any taxes you owe. You must still pay on time.
If you can't pay the full amount you owe, consider consulting a tax law attorney who can explain your full range of options. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for an offer in compromise, a payment plan or another solution.