If you need more time to file your 2012 income tax return, you can get an extension — and no explanation is necessary.
You may have a very good reason for wanting more time to file your 2012 individual income tax return. For instance, you might want to hold off funding a retirement plan such as a Keogh or SEP until you can save more money. Perhaps you’re waiting for a tax form from a trust, a partnership, or an S Corporation. Or maybe you’ve just been busy.
It doesn’t matter. Whatever the cause or motivation, you can usually put off filing for up to six months beyond April 15. That means you could have until October 15, 2013, to finalize your return — assuming you follow the rules.
Here’s what you need to do:
* Estimate your total tax liability for 2012, subtract what you’ve already paid in withholding or estimated payments and remit most or all of the balance, and
* File an extension request form (generally Form 4868 for an individual return) by April 15.
You can file the extension request form electronically, by phone, or by mailing it to the IRS. If you owe taxes, you can pay with an electronic funds transfer, your credit card, or a check. An extension is an extension to file the forms, not to pay the tax due, if any.
Requesting an extension for your personal return also gives you additional time to file a gift tax return for 2012. The gift tax return extension is automatically included. You don’t even have to check a box. But if you owe gift tax (or generation skipping transfer tax), or are requesting an extension only for a gift tax return, you’ll need to use Form 8892.
One more quirk: If you live and work outside the United States, you may qualify for an automatic two-month extension of time to file without having to send in a form.
If you have special circumstances such as military service, or think you might have difficulty paying the tax due with your extension, please contact us. We can help you work through the rules.
Written by: Doug Rodrigues