Late Again? Here's How To Request A Tax Extension

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Panic Scared Falling

It may be cute to make a date wait while you primp, but tardiness comes with heavy penalties when you're answering to the IRS.

The deadline for filing your 2011 tax return is April 17 and telling the IRS your car broke down isn't a valid excuse.

In a real mess? Don't flip out if you can't file your return on time; just file an extension to avoid big trouble.

Here's the big thing to keep in mind about extensions: they only buy you time to file your return, but they don't allow for additional time to pay taxes owed. So, if you won't be filing your return by the 17th but know that you have to pay taxes, you need to pay at least 90 percent of the total amount due by the April deadline to avoid penalties.

Asking for an extension will give you six additional months to complete and file your tax return.

From IRS' website:

Taxpayers who need extra time to file their federal returns this year can file the Form 4868 request for an automatic extension through IRS Free File. The extension gives you an additional six months, until Oct. 17, to file the tax return.Taxpayers can file the request for extension with traditional Free File or Free File Fillable Forms. Using Free File to prepare and electronically submit Form 4868 is free to everyone.

See? You are gonna be just fine. Now exhale.

Now see 9 ways to spot a tax preparer scam > 

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