Is tax season moving too quickly for you this year? Here’s some good news: you can file for an extension if you just can’t get your act together by the April 15 deadline, says The Hartford’s Barbara Weltman.
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But requesting an extension doesn’t get you totally off the hook. Weltman says small business owners looking for extra time will still need to actually submit their extension form by April 15, and pay their estimated taxes for the 2013 year.
“Your taxes are still due by April 15,” says Weltman. While you may not know the exact amount that’s due, the onus is on you (and your accountant, if you use one) to figure out roughly how much you’ll owe.
“If you under-pay by too much, you’ll be charged a penalty and accrue interest beyond April 15,” says Weltman.
Here are some signs filing for an extension might be the right choice for you, according to Weltman:
1. You’re waiting on important financial information. 2. You’re having a hard time gathering all of your records. 3. March and April are your busiest seasons. 4. You’re out of the office and unable to focus your attention on tax prep.
While some of these excuses may seem, well, a little silly, Weltman says it doesn’t matter to the IRS why you’re filing for an extension.
“You don’t even have to give a reason, you just need to submit the form by the extension deadline,” says Weltman.
And luckily, Weltman says you won’t be penalized for requesting an extension.
“The good news is that filing for an extension won’t create a higher audit risk,” says Weltman.
You can find links to the extension forms on the IRS’s website.