Things to Consider When You Can’t File Your Federal Taxes On Time in Denver

February 6, 2019

Whether you’re an individual taxpayer from Aurora, married filing jointly in Denver, or a small business owner in Littleton, April 15, 2019 should be a date that’s circled on your calendar. That’s the deadline for filing your income taxes with the IRS. Whether it’s from procrastination, laziness, or simply waiting to get all of your 2018 paperwork in order, not all Denver area taxpayers are always ready to go when it comes time to file by the April 15th deadline. 

When getting ready to prepare your federal income taxes this year, it’s important to understand that the recent government shutdown has not impacted this required filing date, and that the date will remain intact even if future government shutdowns arise —so don’t use that as an excuse to file late! 

Whether you’re a Denver-area taxpayer who is currently living abroad, have yet to organize the appropriate forms and paperwork, or simply need more time to file your federal income taxes, Advance Tax Solutions is here to help you navigate the process quickly and confidently without falling subject to fees or audits that can arise when taxpayers or small businesses miss the April 15th deadline. Here are some brief tips on navigating your taxes if you won’t be able to file before the deadline. 

Tax Refund vs. Owing Taxes

If you’re expecting a return from your 2018 income taxes, you’re in luck. Tax returns that are due a refund have until April 14, 2022 to be filed with the IRS before the statute of limitations on your tax return refund runs out. If you file an extension to file, this deadline can be put off until as far as October 15, 2022. If you don't file by these dates, the U.S. Treasury simply keeps your refund as a "donation,” and you waive your right to the refund forever. Individual tax filers and students are encouraged to avoid missing the April 15th filing deadline, not only because it can delay a sizeable refund check, but also because it sets up good taxing paying habits that will serve you well (and prevent you from having to pays fees and interest to the IRS) throughout your adult life and career. 

However, if you believe you will owe taxes from 2018, the situation is an entirely different ball game. The team of tax professionals here at Advanced Tax Solutions suggests you file as soon as possible —even if you can’t pay. The IRS’ late-filing penalty can be as much as 10 times higher than the late-payment penalty, and the longer you wait, the more it has the propensity to increase. In fact, one of the key problems folks don’t realize is the very act of procrastinating about filing your taxes can only add to the amount you owe. Putting off your income taxes doesn’t ignore your tax problems —it magnifies them. 

Filing for a Tax Extension

If you’re a Colorado resident who knows that they won’t be able to file their income taxes on time, you should apply for an extension to avoid any future fees. IRS form 4868 —Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return— is the form you need to submit to apply for a filing tension. Form 4868 can be submitted to the IRS in either paper form or online. Individuals who utilize tax processing software services such can often a way to file through your chosen program or tax advisor as well. Filing a tax extension is, and in most cases, an extension is automatically granted. There are no special qualifications, exemptions or circumstances that need to be met in order for you to file form 4868. Both personal and business taxpayers who request an extension are almost always granted one. Keep in mind, however, when filing for an extension you are asked to estimate how much you owe the IRS. 

An extension can also be applied for using the IRS’s online filing program. You can get an automatic extension of time to file your tax return by filing Form 4868 through the IRS website. You’ll receive an electronic acknowledgment once you complete the transaction, which you’ll want to keep with all your  applicable with your 2018 tax records and formds. If you complete Form 4868 online, there’s no need to additionally mail a physical copy, unless you’re making a payment on your estimated IRS balance with a check or money order.

What an Federal Tax Extension Provides

It’s important to understand that an extension only gives you an extended period of time to file your 2018 income taxes. It does not grant you an extension on any prearranged payment plans or future tax payments owed —it merely gives you more time to file your 2018 return. If you owe the IRS for 2018, your tax debt is still due by the April 17, 2019 deadline. Any unpaid balance to the IRS that is in place after the April 17 deadline will accrue interest and penalty fees of 5% per year, compounded daily. 

If you have concerns about your ability to file your 2018 Federal Income Taxes in a timely manner, the team here at Advanced Tax Solutions is here to help. Not only will our friendly associates walk you through your extension application process, we can also provide you with myriad tax filing techniques and advice to set you up for success in this and every tax year. 

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