Tax Deadline Can Be Extended – Automatically!

Has time slipped away too quickly this tax season? Are you still sorting receipts and furiously figuring out the numbers for your 2017 tax return?

The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t accept “I’m too busy” as an excuse for procrastinating on a tax return. But the government does give taxpayers six more months to file the paperwork. An extension can be filed online or by mail. Better yet, it’s automatically approved.

The IRS won’t ask you why you need it. BUT – and it can be a big “but” – the IRS still expects you to estimate income and pay any taxes due by the deadline.

This year’s filing deadline actually is a couple of days later than normal. The Internal Revenue Service will accept 2017 returns filed electronically or postmarked in the mail through the end of the day on Tuesday, April 17. (The extra time has to do with the weekend and a holiday in Washington, D.C. on Monday.)

If you still can’t make that deadline, it’s time to join the multitudes of taxpayers asking the Internal Revenue Service some extra days on Form 4868, named or “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.” For a copy of the form, see

The IRS suggests using its online service called Free File. But the agency also notes that tax preparation software typically provides the form. It’s still legit to mail in a paper Form 4868 and a check – postmarked on or before April 17, of course.

The tax collectors also offer other online ways to pay One is IRS Direct Pay, which is available online and on the IRS2Go app. In fact, if you make an electronic payment and label it for an extension, you don’t need to file the extension form. The IRS automatically counts it as an extension. One important note: Although the IRS won’t charge any fees for paying with a credit or debit card, the card processor does charge a fee.

Finally, remember any state taxes you owe. In Minnesota, you don’t have to file an extension form. BUT – just as with the federal return – you must pay an estimate of taxes due to avoid penalties. Minnesota Department of Revenue accepts tax payments through its Web site.

Don’t hesitate to take an extension.  It does not flag a taxpayer for  audit, Eric assures. The IRS considers an extension normal and permissible.

We at EricJohn Ltd. wish you easy and accurate filings for your 2017 tax return!

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