- Days left

What If I Can't File My Taxes on Time?

In 2011, we have a few extra days to get our tax returns in to the IRS. Tax Day is officially April 18, 2011, instead of April 15, thanks to Emancipation Day.



If you're just worried about getting your return to the post office on time, there are a few other delivery options to consider, including private delivery service and e-file. But if it's not a trip to the post office that's holding you up, but rather missing tax documentation -- or if you just haven't had time to get things together -- you may need to request an extension.An extension needs to be filed in a timely manner to properly extend the time to file. That means it should be filed by the due date for your return. For most taxpayers, that means you need to get your return postmarked (or filed online) by April 18, 2011. You have three options for filing an extension:
  1. File a paper extension: Most taxpayers are eligible for an automatic six-month extension. To get the extension, you must file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Income Tax Return by April 18, 2011. Assuming you file on time, you'll be extended through Oct. 15. A longer extension may be granted if you're living out of the country.
  2. File online: You can apply for an extension by filing Form 4868 online through a software preparation service like TurboTax, a company that focuses on tax extensions such as FileLater.com, or by hiring a tax professional who uses e-file. If you want to make a payment with your online filing, you can pay by electronic funds withdrawal or send a check to the IRS. As with a paper return, the extension must be filed before the end of day on April 18, 2011.
  3. Pay by credit card. You can also apply for an extension by paying part or all of your estimate of income tax due by using a credit or debit card. To pay by credit or debit card, call toll-free or visit the website of one of the following service providers approved by the IRS (contact information can be found here). Convenience fees may apply; note that those charges are issued by the provider and not by the IRS.
To get started with any of the three options, you'll need the following information:
  • Your personal details, including your Social Security number, address and the name and taxpayer ID number of your spouse.
  • A copy of your 2009 tax return.
  • A list of estimated tax payments made, or refunds applied, in 2010 (if any).
No matter which option you choose, here's the most important thing to remember: Filing an extension extends the time to file, but not the time to pay. If you believe that you're going to owe, pay as much as possible with an extension to avoid interest and penalties when you file your return a little later in the year.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

Getting out of debt

Everyone hates debt. Get out of it.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Will Medicare/Medicaid be Impacted by ACA?

The Affordable Care Act put in place significant tax-related programs that impact Medicare and Medicaid, such as increased Medicare taxes on earned and unearned income for high-wage earners, and Medicaid changes that increase the number of insured individuals. Establishing whether you are affected by the ACA-imposed taxes, or are eligible for certain health programs that fall under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is determined by filing your income tax.

8 Things You Think Are Tax Deductible That Aren't

There?s a fine line between looking to save money on your taxes and taking deductions that will raise eyebrows at the Internal Revenue Service. Some taxpayers are tripped up by expenses that they assume are tax deductions, but don?t qualify under IRS guidelines. Here are a dozen items that can lead to unpleasant surprises in case of an audit.

Essential Tax Forms for the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as Obamacare, affects how millions of Americans will prepare their taxes in the new year. The law now includes penalties for all who haven?t obtained health insurance -- and those penalties are expected to be paid at tax time. The ACA also provides tax credits to help people pay for insurance, and you can claim those credits when you file your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has introduced a number of tax forms to accommodate the ACA.

How to Determine if You Have Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires most Americans to have health insurance that meets a government standard known as "minimum essential coverage," or MEC. Whether your insurance qualifies as MEC depends not on the plan itself, but on how you obtained your coverage.

What are 1095 Tax Forms for Health Care?

In 2014 the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, introduced three new tax forms relevant to individuals, employers and health insurance providers. They are forms 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C. These forms help determine if you need to comply with the new shared responsibility payment, the fee you might have to pay if you don't have health insurance. For individuals who bought insurance through the health care marketplace, this information will help to determine whether you are able to receive an additional premium tax credit or have to pay some back.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum