Top 10 Things You Should Do If You File a Personal Tax Extension

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man-relax-couch-study-largeIf you filed a personal tax extension this year, you now have until October 15th to officially file your income taxes with the IRS. Assuming you’ve already sent your Form 4868 to the IRS, it’s best not to hold off until October 14th to get the rest of your taxes prepared.

Here are the top 10 things you should do if you’ve filed a personal tax extension this year:
  1. The IRS won’t confirm the receipt of your Form 4868. If you file the proper paperwork, know that the 6 month tax extension is automatic and you don’t need to follow up with the IRS again until October.
  2. Check to see if you need to file a state tax extension form as well. If you don’t owe any state taxes, you do not need to file an extension form. Click here for specific instructions on filing a personal tax extension in your state.
  3. If you owe taxes to the IRS and didn’t send your tax payment in with your extension request form, you’ll need to send your entire payment in as soon as possible to avoid late fees and penalties.
  4. If you were only able to pay a portion of your tax bill with your personal tax extension request, make note of how much you have already paid and contact the IRS about setting up a payment plan.
  5. If you haven’t already, start preparing your income tax return now. If you filed a personal tax extension but don’t necessarily need the full six months, it is best to get your return completed as soon as possible.
  6. Make an estimate. Use a simple online tax estimating tool to estimate how much you may owe or receive on your taxes. Be sure to mark the estimates on your return so you can double check them later.
  7. Stay organized. Keep a notebook handy and jot down and notes or questions that come up as you are preparing your return. Be sure to jot down how you arrived at various items, such as the square footage of your home office, how many days you spent traveling for business, or the amount you spent supporting a relative who does not live with you. These notes can help you explain each item to the IRS if you were to be audited.
  8. If your personal tax extension request happened to be rejected by the IRS, they will notify you. If you have all of your extension paperwork filled out properly and submitted by the April 15th deadline, your request will be automatically granted and you will not be notified. However, if the information you submitted does not match the IRS records–perhaps if you had a recent name change, if you moved, or entered your social security number incorrectly–the IRS will inform you of the rejection and you’ll need to correct any errors.
  9. Ask an accountant. As you keep track of questions that may arise about your tax return, consult an accountant to make sure you are filling out your paperwork correctly. An accountant can also fill out your return and submit it for you.
  10. E-file or mail your tax return by October 15th. Your completed tax return must be e-filed by midnight. If you choose to mail your return to the IRS, the package must be postmarked by October 15th.

Filing a personal tax extension is a fairly straightforward process and the IRS has simplified the process tremendously in recent years. If you still have questions about your personal tax extension, contact Mazuma; we can help.


Other posts that might interest you:

6 Reasons Why Filing a Tax Extension with the IRS is a Good Decision

Q&A: How to file an individual income tax extension with the IRS

Q&A: Do I need to request a state tax extension if I filed an IRS tax extension?

Q&A: My 6 month extension on my personal taxes is due on 10/15.  Help!

Q&A: What if I missed the IRS tax extension deadline?

Q&A: What if I can’t file my personal taxes by my IRS tax extension deadline?

Q&A: Can I file a second IRS tax deadline extension for my personal taxes?

Ben Sutton

Ben Sutton

Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.

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