As we get down to the wire, lots of nice folks are going to need a very normal thing called a tax extension.
What is an extension?
If you are unable to file your taxes (for whatever reason- no judgement!) before the deadline (April 15) you can file an extension. An extension is your way of telling the IRS that you need more time to get your tax documents to them. This request needs to be submitted by April 15th in order to receive a new filing deadline (October 15. It is important to keep in mind that an extension of time to file your return does not grant you any extension of time to pay your taxes; an extension simply gives you more time to properly submit your tax information to the IRS. If you haven't paid any taxes on income earned throughout the year or think you might owe, you should estimate and pay any owed taxes by April 15 to help avoid possible penalties. Basically, with an extension you can file later, but you still need to pay on time; the IRS isn't that generous...
If I file an extension, am I still required to pay?
Maybe. If you owe money, you are still required to make the payment by the tax deadline. This will require that you make an estimate of your income, tax owed and expenses and pay up for what you are anticipating. If not much has changed in your finances, last year’s taxes are a good guess. You’re going to owe this anyway so it’s not an extra fee.
What if I’m getting money back? Do I still need to file an extension?
Yep. The IRS requires that you file an extension even if you are receiving money back.
Well, I think I need an extension, what do I do next?
Awesome. Take a breath. This is a normal and adult thing you’re doing. Figure out whether or not you are going to owe money. You probably already know this.
If you'd like us to handle it for you, then go ahead and enter your details onto this form: HERE. The price for this service is $50, and it will be applied to the total cost of your return when you have us file for you later on.
If you'd prefer to handle it yourself, then here's the forms you'll need to send off:
Here is the federal extension. It’s a PDF that you can e-file or mail in (mailing is simpler).
If you think you’ll owe or aren’t sure, here is a good estimator by Intuit, put in your W-2 Income from box 1, ‘Federal taxes’ from box 2, and for ‘state taxes paid’, add up state and city taxes from box 17 and 19. Add freelance income MINUS your estimated expenses under ‘Business Income’. The number you see on the right is an estimate of your federal taxes. If you live in NY, multiply this number by .6 and that is an estimate for NY.
Here’s the link to file a NY Extension. Select ‘individual’ & ‘no special condition’.
Let's schedule a meeting. Head over to the client portal and make an appointment. Some people file an extension and then never file. You will never want to deal with this stuff, so just do it.