One of the biggest misconceptions about filing an extension on federal tax returns is that it means individuals don’t have to pay any amount owed on time. An extension gives people more time to file, but not more time to pay.

Individuals can file an extension on their federal taxes, but it has to be done before the last day for filing the taxes. An extension provides taxpayers with additional months to prepare and file their return for any reason. The IRS automatically grants a request for an extension, but the proper forms must be filed and the extension is valid until Oct. 15. The extension can be filed electronically.

Taxpayers are expected to pay the full amount they owe by the tax deadline, even if they file an extension. The IRS assesses a penalty for late payments, usually 0.5 percent per month of the balance that’s due, but failing to pay can increase that penalty to a maximum of 25 percent.

There are 3 primary reasons that individuals file an extension. The first is missing or inaccurate information. Many people find that they haven’t received a form they need in time to file.

The second most common reason for an extension is that a taxpayer will be out of town during tax season. Many people from northern states winter in the south, while others choose to vacation during spring break. If they anticipate a refund, they often file an extension.

Lastly, people run out of time. Filing federal taxes can be stressful, leading to procrastination. Despite taxes being due on or near the same date every year, some individuals lose track of time, simply get busy, or find themselves dealing with a major life event.

For those that don’t have the money to pay their tax bill in full, the IRS offers some payment plans. Individuals will still have to pay their tax bill, along with any applicable penalties and interest, but at a lower rate. Installment agreements are also available, in which individuals pay a set amount each month. The IRS advises individuals pay their tax burden with a credit card or take out a loan to save money.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!


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