Tips for Tax Procrastinators: File an extension


If you're behind on getting your taxes done, one of the best things you can do is file an extension. That will buy you some extra time to get everything filed. But don't use that as an excuse to keep procrastinating. Use it just to give you more time so you're not hurrying to finish your taxes (and therefore making mistakes or missing important items).

Remember this, though: filing an extension only gives you more time to file the papers, not more time to pay if you owe money. So if you have a pretty good idea that you'll owe money to the IRS or the state, you should send that money with the extension.

You can get a six month extension by filing Form 4868 by the tax deadline of April 15th.

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Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.