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Author: Ryan Hirsch, NASBA Multimedia & Video Services Manager
Posted: April 10, 2012

April 15th is only a few days away, and that means many Americans are making a last minute push to complete their tax returns. If you fall into this category, this article provides a number of helpful tips in case you need to file for an extension.

The first bit of good news is that this year's filing date falls on a Sunday, so the IRS changed the submission deadline to Tuesday, April 17, 2012, instead of the traditional April 15th. That gives taxpayers two extra days to prepare their returns. Those individuals who still need more time can file for an automatic six-month extension by submitting Form 4868 to the IRS by April 17, 2012. This extension application form, which pushes the due date to October 15, 2012, can be submitted electronically or via postal mail. Businesses can also file for extensions by completing Form 7004 and submitting it to the IRS by April 17, 2012. Detailed instructions explaining how to complete the extension applications are listed on the forms.

Filing for an extension is an important process because taxpayers who find themselves unable to submit their tax returns or extension applications by April 17, 2012 may incur a "Late Filing Penalty" of $135 or more. However, it is also important to note that filing for an extension only applies to the tax return itself, and does not apply to any tax payment owed to the government. Interest will be applied to any unpaid taxes until the payment is submitted, so it still behooves taxpayers to complete their returns as soon as possible.

Whenever possible, make every effort to file your tax returns on time and pay any taxes owed by the original tax return deadline. Failing to do so could result in unwanted interest and fees. Hopefully the tips in this article will enable you to minimize those charges and ease the process of filing your tax return. Taxpayers can also stay up to date with the latest information regarding their refund status, previous tax records and new IRS rules and policies by downloading the new IRS2Go Smartphone Application. This application is available for both iPhone and Android operating systems.

Note: The information provided in this article is intended to provide a summary of available tax extension options. Please consult the IRS website for official rules, laws, forms and exemptions before filing tax returns or extension applications.

 “Topic 653 – IRS Notices and Bills, Penalties and Interest Charges” 12/22/11
IRS Kicks Off 2012 Tax Season with Deadline Extended to April 17” 1/4/12
 “Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return" 2/3/12
New IRS2Go Offers Three More Features” 2/9/12

Other Suggested Reading

"Tax Tips for Last-minute Filers" Jill Schlesinger 4/2/12

"Online Tax Resource Aims to Help Over 67M Taxpayers Meet Deadline" PRWeb 4/2/12