People who need more time to fill out their returns can get an automatic six-month extension. The fastest and easiest way to get the extra time is through the Free File link on IRS.gov.
People who need more time to fill out their returns can get an automatic six-month extension. The fastest and easiest way to get the extra time is through the Free File link on IRS.gov.

Archived Story

Can’t file or pay taxes by April 15? You have options

Published 7:42am Thursday, April 10, 2014

With less than a week left before the April 15 tax deadline, the Internal Revenue Service today reminded Alabama taxpayers that options are available if they can’t file their forms or pay their taxes on time. They can even submit filing extensions and request payment options online.

“Don’t panic if you need more time to file or pay your taxes,” said IRS spokesman Dan Boone. “Requesting more time to file is easy, and there are several payment options.”

The IRS expects Alabama taxpayers to submit about 142,000 filing extension requests by the April 15 deadline. More than 2 million tax returns are expected to be filed by Alabamians this year, with about 420,000 of those likely to be filed in April alone.

To avoid the late filing penalty, taxpayers should file a tax return or an extension form by April 15 even if they can’t pay the full amount due. Tax returns or extension forms can be filed online free at IRS.gov through the Free File program, which offers free use of brand-name tax software. Lower-income and elderly filers who need help completing their taxes can call 1-800-906-9887 to find free tax help sites in their area.

More Time to File

People who need more time to fill out their returns can get an automatic six-month extension. The fastest and easiest way to get the extra time is through the Free File link on IRS.gov. In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an automatic tax-filing extension on Form 4868. The form asks taxpayers to estimate their tax liability and to pay as much as possible of amount they expect to owe when they file their return.

Taxpayers have several quick and easy ways to electronically pay what they owe, including the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, electronic funds withdrawal or paying by credit or debit card. To access these options, visit IRS.gov and search for “e-pay.”

More Time to Pay

Taxpayers who have finished their returns should file by the regular April 15 deadline and pay as much as they can, even if they can’t pay the full amount due. Those who are struggling with unpaid taxes may qualify for a payment agreement, which can be set up online in a matter of minutes.

Those who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest can use the Online Payment Agreement tool at IRS.gov to set up a monthly payment agreement for up to 72 months. Taxpayers can choose this option even if they have not yet received a bill or notice from the IRS.

Some struggling taxpayers may qualify for an offer-in-compromise. This is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. The IRS looks at the taxpayer’s income and assets to make a determination regarding the taxpayer’s ability to pay. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier, a free online tool available on IRS.gov.

Details on all filing and payment options are on www.IRS.gov.

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