by Tristan Zier · in 1099 Taxes · on April 9, 2015
The tax due date (April 15th) is quickly approaching! If you haven’t had time to file your taxes and don’t think you will in time, what are your options for filing a 1099 tax extension?
What happens when I file an extension?
First off, it’s important to note that filing an extension only extends the time for filing your official tax return. It does not extend the time for paying the tax liability.
That means you need to make a payment for any outstanding tax liability by April 15th. If you aren’t sure, you may want to err on the side of overpaying. If you underpay, you may be subject to fines, penalties, and interest on the underpaid amount.
If you have 1099 income, you may or may not have already paid your tax liability. You may have made quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year, in which case your tax liability may have already been covered. If you didn’t make quarterly payments, it’s likely that you have an outstanding tax liability.
If you have only W-2/employee income (or other income where taxes were automatically withheld for you), your tax liability is likely already covered for that W-2 income.
How do I file the tax extension, and when is it due?
The IRS has some resources on how to file an extension. You’ll need to fill out a paper Form 4868 for the extension, or online if you make an electronic payment through the IRS’s e-file system.
Your tax extension Form 4868 is due by the regular due date of your return (April 15th). So if you mail it in, make sure it’s postmarked by April 15th. If you do it electronically, make sure you do it by April 14th (since there is often a day for the electronic payment to be processed).
How long is the tax extension, and what happens after I file it?
Filing an extension as an individual will give you a 6 month extension to file your tax return.
After you file the Form 4868 extension, you’ll have up to 6 months to file your return. Since you’ve already
sent in the Form 4868, you don’t have to send it again when you actually file your tax return.
Does filing a tax extension increase my risk of audit?
The IRS doesn’t explicitly comment on what increases the risk of an audit. It’s generally believed that filing an extension doesn’t increase your risk of an audit though, since you could have a valid reason for requesting the extension. However, either (a) not filing for an extension and still filing late, or (b) filing for an extension and filing after the extended deadline would both likely increase your risk.
Can I file a tax extension for just my 1099 income?
Since you’re filing your year end taxes, the government treats an “extension” as an extension of all of your year end filing requirements. This means anything related to your taxes, whether it’s 1099 income, W-2/employee income, investment income, etc. (You can also learn more about taxes when you have both 1099 and W-2 income .)
Although you could file a partially completed tax return and later go back and amend it, it’s easier to just file an extension and submit everything at once. Otherwise, you might increase your risk of an audit due to the confusion.
How much are the fines?
If you make a payment late, you are are generally charged 0.5% of the underpaid amount for each full or partial month the payment is late, up to 25%. If you paid at least 90% of your tax liability already, you may be exempt from this “late payment penalty”.
If you make a filing late, you are generally charged 5% of the underpaid amount for each full or partial month the payment is late. The maximum penalty for this “late filing penalty” is 25%.
In both cases, you may also be subject to other fines or interest.
What about filing a state or city tax extension?
The above information is only for federal taxes (like self-employment tax or federal income tax). Individual states and cities may have their own specific requirements, so make sure you look into any requirements. (On a related note, you can also check out our Best and Worst States for 1099 Taxes !)