With the April 15, 2019 tax return deadline looming, some investors may be panicking about filing their federal taxes in time. That’s particularly true for those awaiting their final 1099 Consolidated Tax Statement or other required documents.
If you’re among them, talk to your tax advisor. Determine if it’s in your best interest to file for a tax extension.
The IRS grants a free, automatic six-month extension to file your taxes every year regardless of the reason. Just be sure to file Form 4868 by the April 15 due date. (Check your state tax laws. Some states accept IRS federal extensions while others require a state-specific extension form.)
The caveat is that to obtain the extension, you must pay your full income tax obligation by the April deadline. Nonetheless, filing for an extension can offer significant benefits.
Among the advantages of a tax extension is that it provides you with an additional six months to:
Filing for an extension can also save you from failure-to-file penalties. If you file more than 60 days after the due date, the minimum penalty is $205 or 100% of your unpaid tax, whichever is less. The failure-to-file penalty also applies if you filed for an extension but fail to file by the extended deadline.
Remember: filing an extension doesn’t exempt you from paying your bill by the April 15 due date. The failure-to-pay penalty is generally 0.5 percent per month of your unpaid taxes.
If you’re contemplating an extension because you owe a considerable amount of money, you can request a short payment extension from the IRS. You’ll still pay penalties and interest, but at a lower rate. The IRS also offers installment agreements for taxpayers who can't pay their taxes by the due date. You’ll find more information on the IRS website.
Another option is to go ahead and pay your tax bill using a credit card or loan. The interest charges may be less than the combined penalties and fees you face if you pay late.
For any questions you have regarding filing for a tax extension or concerning any other tax matters, always consult your tax advisor. You’ll also find helpful, authoritative information at irs.gov.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
To determine which course of action may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.