What to Do If You Can't File Your Taxes on Time

The clock is ticking. In less than two weeks, US federal income taxes are due. For those procrastinators out there, the deadline is quickly approaching. Time to get to business — and fast.

But what if you’re more than a lazy daisy? Perhaps there’s a good reason for your tax delay and even with the time you’ve taken, you still can’t file on time? Fortunately, CNN Money has some worthwhile information for you:

Good news: You can have a six-month extension. Bad news: You still have to pay your taxes by April 15.

File Form 4868 (download a copy from irs.gov or your tax prep program will provide one), and use last year’s return to estimate what you owe or let your tax software do it for you. It’s better to overestimate and get a refund later; if you’re under by more than 10%, you’ll owe interest of 7% on the amount you underpaid by, plus a penalty of up to 25% of the underpayment.

Yeah, it’s not the best solution, but it’s a decent alternative if you simply can’t file. Seven percent of taxpayers go for the extra time, so apparently many people have issues that make filing by April 15 difficult to impossible.

And for those of you who haven’t done your taxes yet but plan to, CNN also offers six top tax savers, a listing of various last-minute tax moves that could save you a bit here and there. See you at the post office near midnight on April 15. ;-)

Six top tax savers [CNN Money]

FREE MONEY FINANCE

(Photo: chadwbecks)

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  1. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    I have lived in the South my whole life, as have earlier generations of my family, and have never heard lazy daisy before. I could totally imagine my grandma saying that though.

  2. hi says:

    Irregardless, Tax Dog was much nicer.

  3. Beerad says:

    See, Tax Cat is always so responsible and provides sounds fiscal advice. Not like that rabble-rouser Tax Dog, who’s on the lam for tax evasion and probably also stockpiling assault weapons. Send us a postcard from Mexico, Tax Dog!

  4. plustax says:

    I’m going to be mean here but if your tax returns are that complex and you are having such an issue compiling and generating a tax return by Aptil 15th perhaps you should consider a professional tax preparer, EA (enrolled agent) or CPA next time. If you’re waiting for K1′s to show up or you’re waiting on a slew of other forms to show up, it’s officially over your head get some help. Not me, I’m a hack, get someone good. Where’s my abacus?

  5. DeepFriar says:

    Usually I don’t accept financial advice from a domesticated animal.
    But he’s wearing glasses, so that has to be worth something.

  6. Superborty says:

    @DeepFriar: lol

  7. deebeegee says:

    what do I do if I am going to be late filing this year and, um, actually, never filed last year?

    (yea, yea, laugh if you want)

  8. Megladon says:

    …Ok so you file for a extension, but you still have to pay by the 15th. Does anyone else see how stupid this is. You havnt done your taxes so you dont even know if you owe, but you better pay if you owe, because that extension doesnt matter. If you dont owe, but your getting money back, you can file any time within 2 years, again making the extension utterly worthless.

    Taxes are a joke anyways (for different reasons then your thinking), and unless you claim some form of credit you shouldnt even need to file. The govt knows how much you made, and how much you paid in tax already. I called them up a few years back for my tax info for the current year and they faxed me a copy of that years stuff (it was before april 15th and i had yet to file as the cat ate my paperwork). They have the info, the computer tells them exactly how much i owe, or how much they owe, so the fact that we need to pay some yahoo’s every year to do our taxes is a joke.

  9. B* says:

    If you will not owe taxes, don’t worry about being late. They only go after you if you owe them money; they are more than happy to keep yours for longer. I was too busy one year during college to file and I was late (don’t remember how long exactly, I believe two months or so). I got my check much later than usual of course, but that was it.

    Many of you probably know this already. This tip is for college students and other youngins who are panicking like I did. ;)

  10. hi says:

    If you owe them money then you will owe a little interest if you file late. But if they owe you money, you don’t have to worry about anything if you file late.

  11. Maulleigh says:

    I mailed those effers off today! Yay!

  12. cuiusquemodi says:

    @hi: Which is to say, you don’t get the interest.

    I suppose that’s for the best (from the IRS’ perspective)… where else can you get 7% today?