If you need more time to file your 2017 income tax return, you can get an extension — no explanation is necessary. There are a lot of reasons why you may need more time to file your 2017 individual income tax return. For instance, you might want to hold off funding a retirement plan 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.
Whatever the reason, you can usually put off filing for up to six months beyond April 17. That means you will have until Oct. 15 to finalize your return.
Here's what you need to do:
• Estimate your total tax liability for 2017, subtract what you've already paid in withholding or estimated payments and remit most or all of the balance.
• File an extension request form (generally Form 4868 for an individual return) by April 17. You can file the extension request form online, 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.
Requesting an extension for your personal return also gives you additional time to file a gift tax return for 2017. The gift tax return extension is automatically included. 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.
If you have special circumstances such as military service, or think you might have difficulty paying the tax due with your extension, give us a call. We can help you work through the rules.
As always, feel free to pass this Tip along to friends, and reach out if you need help with your personal tax and finance situation.
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