2:05 pm PDT April 7, 2014
If you can't file your 2013 federal tax return by April 15 (or June 16, if you're out of the country), you should file an extension before the filing deadline.
Not only does an extension give you until October 15 to file your federal tax return, it assures that you won't get hit with the late-filing penalty, which can amount to 25% of any additional taxes you owe. More info
Important: Extensions do not give you additional time to pay owed taxes, which are due April 15 (or June 16 for taxpayers out of the country). If you can't pay owed tax by the deadline, always file an extension so you can at least avoid the late-filing penalty, which is up to 10 times higher than the late-payment penalty.
How to file your federal extension
There's a couple of ways to file a federal extension with the IRS.
You can search inside your TurboTax program for the exact phrase 4868, filing extension. Just follow the on-screen instructions. When you print out the extension form, we'll also include the mailing address (or you can click here for the correct address).
Another way is to e-file your extension online with TurboTax Easy Extension. Although TurboTax Easy Extension is integrated with TurboTax Online, you can use it to file an extension even if you don't use TurboTax.
Finally, you can download Form 4868 from the IRS website, print it out (4 pages), and mail
it in before the deadline. Complete instructions are on the printout.
Otherwise, open your state return in TurboTax by clicking State Taxes and then proceed through the state program interview.
Look for an option to file your state tax extension; some state programs will have this at the beginning of the state interview, whereas in other state programs it appears towards the end.
Estimating additional taxes owed
No matter which method you use to file your extension, you'll be asked to estimate your 2013 tax liability.
To estimate your 2013 tax liability, you can use the figures calculated by TurboTax or TaxCaster 2013. our free tax calculator.
Enter as much of your 2013 tax return data as you can, using the info you have. Don't be afraid to "fudge" missing or unknown numbers for estimation purposes. You can always update those when you get ready to file.
For example, if you know you made $2,000 after selling stock, but you're still waiting for the official Form 1099-B from your broker, just enter a dummy stock sale with proceeds of $2,000 and a cost basis of 0.
If your estimate indicates that you don't owe, or are due a refund, we still recommend filing an extension in case your estimate proves to be wrong. Because late-filing penalties are up to 10 times higher than late-payment penalties, filing your (free) extension is cheap insurance indeed.
Good Luck ,Bea
- Was this helpful? Helpful?