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Filling Out the 2015 IRS Extension Form

If you need more time to prepare your tax return for your personal taxes, Form 4868 allows you to file for an extension so you can find all the right documentation to ensure your taxes are properly calculated and paid. This form changes according to the tax year it files the extension for, so it is important to have the right version.

What Is the 2015 IRS Extension Form Used For?

The 2015 version of the IRS extension form is used to get more time to finish preparing your paperwork before filing a tax return. It is used for personal taxes, with a separate form number being reserved for business taxes. The form specifically extends the time you have available to file your return, not the time you have to pay your taxes. This does prevent you from being charged the IRS’s automatic 5 percent penalty for late filing, which is important. Since for most taxpayers it does not prevent interest and penalties from being charged on late tax payments, it is wise to pay an estimated tax up front and then file a return to receive a refund check. You do not need to list a reason to ask for an extension, but you do need to file for your extension no later than 11:59 p.m. on the day returns are due for that tax year. After that, further extensions will be subject to review for reasons.

Who Would Use the 2015 IRS Extension Form?

Any taxpayer whose tax return would be inaccurate because of a lack of time to prepare financial documents or a lack of ability to compile them by the April 2016 filing deadline for the 2015 tax year can file for an extension. The IRS wants to work with taxpayers to ensure they have every opportunity to meet their obligations, and documented extensions are treated more favorably than late filings. Some examples of people who need extensions include: — Entrepreneurs and freelancers whose income is made up of several sales or services rendered to a variety of clients — Investors who earn most of their income through trading and need time to calculate their exact profits and losses — Busy heads of households who simply lack the ability to document and file a tax return by the April deadline for the year, for any reason — Entrepreneurs running resale businesses involving intensive paperwork to document transactions After the initial six months, continuing extensions need to present compelling reasons like the ones above to continue being approved, but the first extension is open to anyone for any reason.

When Should You Use the 2015 IRS Extension Form?

You should use this form whenever you need more time to calculate your 2015 tax return; you can not use it for any other tax year. While the Form 4868 retains its number from tax year to tax year, the individual editions apply only to the year for which they are printed. Use this extension form for each extension you need for the 2015 tax year, and then download extension forms for later tax years if the problem with on-time filing persists in the future. Each new tax year will have its own form. Do not use Form 4868 if you are filing for an extension on business taxes. That form is Form 7004, and it applies to all business taxes that are not included in a Schedule C form on an individual tax return. The IRS regards Schedule C business income as personal income, so Form 4868 will cover that information. Form 7004 is used for businesses that pay their own taxes separately from inclusion on an individual’s income.

What Are the Consequences of Not Using the 2015 IRS Extension Form?

Failure to file an extension before the filing deadline for the tax year makes your return late. Late returns are assessed a 5 percent penalty by the IRS in addition to any taxes that are owed. In addition to that, what about any taxes that are not yet paid for the tax year? They begin to accumulate penalties and interest, which can add up to a significant extra expense. Filing the extension will take care of the 5 percent penalty for late filing, but a tax payment still needs to be made for at least 90 percent of the taxes you will owe for the year. This is an important consideration for those with Schedule C income who are paying self-employment taxes.

Steps to Filling Out the 2015 IRS Extension Form

  1. Download the appropriate form from the IRS.
  2. Fill out your identifying information. Include your spouse’s if you are married.
  3. Add in the estimated tax liability from the calculations you have completed so far.
  4. Do the same for your payments so far and the estimated balance due.
  5. Indicate the size of the payment you are including with your extension. Remember, you do not get an extension on payment.
  6. Check the boxes to indicate citizenship and your eligibility for Form 1040EZ before signing and sending your Form 4868 2015.
2015-irs-extension-form

Quick Questions

If you have paid at least 90 percent of your liability, the IRS will usually waive penalties and fees when the remaining 10 percent is paid after an extended return is filed. Otherwise, standard penalties and fees apply.

While it is possible for a late return to be penalized with criminal penalties, it is unlikely that jail time will be involved. Most of the time, even when criminal penalties are assessed, they are resolved with fees and other penalties other than jail time.

Communication with the IRS is essential if you are trying to resolve tax difficulties. You can contact them and file for another extension if you need to, but the same rules apply€”your tax liability must be paid on time, and the extension only applies to your duty to file an accurate return. You may need to give more reasons than you did on your first 2015 IRS extension form, though.

Resources
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f4868–2015

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