Here are the very simple step-by-step instructions to file for an automatic 6-months extension on your IRS paperwork.
Remember that this is an extension on your paperwork only and not an extension on any money you owe.
Also, remember you don’t have to file for an extension on your paperwork if you are “ten thousand percent absolutely positive no chance ever sure” that you will get a refund from the IRS for your 2021 taxes.
But just in case you are not “ten thousand percent absolutely positive no chance ever sure” that you will get a refund, send in the automatic extension form anyway so you can avoid some very expensive penalties.
The extension form is form 4868. You can download it from www.irs.gov and mail it in. But you can also have it sent online to the IRS through any number of online tax filing software companies at no charge and without a postage stamp.
Here’s an easy way:
- Go to the IRS website www.irs.gov and on the home page, click on “file your taxes for free.”
- On the page for “file your taxes for free,” click on the link for “ask for an extension to file.”
- You’ll now be taken to a page that says, “everyone can file an extension for free.” This page is for free filing services that are restricted by income. But no matter what your income, you can still use it to file a free tax extension.
- You will now see links to six companies offering free tax filing software. Choose a company. Register — and then follow their links to file the extension. You are under no further obligations.
- You do not sign the extension form. You will receive a confirmation your extension was sent in. Keep the confirmation on your computer.
Your state government may have its own tax extension. Check with your state or ask your tax professional.
Always consult with a tax professional.
By the way, many people who waited for one, two, or three years to file a return have found out they were due a refund.
Disclaimer: Alan Mendelson is a well-known TV consumer news reporter who reports on tax issues. You should seek professional advice if you have tax questions or issues.