Tax Day is just around the corner — but it’s not too late to file for an extension if you need some extra time to prepare your return.
While Tuesday, April 18, is the tax filing deadline for most Americans this year, taxpayers who aren’t able to file by that date — such as those missing a key tax form, or anyone who just needs more time — can request a six-month extension. That means you’ll have until Oct. 16, 2023 to submit your 2022 federal income tax return.
Individual taxpayers, regardless of income, can use IRS Free File to request an automatic six-month tax-filing extension. Or you can file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File, found here. The tax extension deadline is also April 18 this year.
Related: Why is the tax deadline April 18 this year, instead of April 15?
The IRS cautions that an extension to file your taxes is not an extension to pay your taxes, however. So if you expect to owe taxes, then you should pay them before the April 18 due date to avoid any potential penalties and interest (which you would learn about through the mail). If you’re putting off filing your taxes because you need more time to pay the bill, then the IRS offers tax payment plans, which you can apply for here. If you do have the cash, but you just need more time to get your tax filing paperwork together, then submit a payment for your estimated taxes owed when filing for your tax extension, which will help you avoid any additional penalties and interest.
But even just requesting an extension can help you avoid a late-filing penalty, at the very least.
What’s more, the IRS has pushed tax deadlines back for taxpayers in several states who have been impacted by severe storm damage. On Monday, April 10, for example, the deadline was extended until July 31, 2023 for Tennessee storm victims who live or own businesses in any disaster areas hit by the tornadoes, severe storms and straight-line winds that occurred starting on March 31. A similar extension was extended to Arkansas storm victims earlier this month. And the IRS also previously pushed back tax deadlines for parts of Mississippi, California, Alabama, Georgia and New York that were impacted by severe weather events. Check out the full list of those eligible for Tax Relief in Disaster Situations on the IRS website.
Or perhaps you don’t live in a disaster area, but the records that you need to file your taxes are located somewhere that was impacted by an extreme event. The IRS will also work with you to straighten it out. And this includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization. Just call the IRS at 866-562-5227.
If this is all starting to get a little confusing, then the IRS also has an online interactive tax assistant that takes just 15 minutes to fill out, which can also help you determine the due date of your federal tax return, or whether you’re eligible to request a specific extension.
Plus, there’s plenty more tax prep advice with TaxWatch on MarketWatch, including:
TurboTax vs. hiring an accountant: What’s the best way to do your taxes?
What is the standard deduction for 2022 — and should you take it?
What are tax brackets for 2022 — and why do they increase over time?