Best and worst of real estate times in the same (my) neighborhood
Debt fears, interest costs for states, cities

Aug. 15 is not your federal tax return extension deadline; Due date is Oct. 17

Today, Aug. 15 is not the deadline for filing your individual tax return if you got an extension earlier this year to send in your Form 1040 (or 1040A or 1040EZ).

I tweeted this earlier today, but then got an email inquiry so here's the more than 140 character scoop.

Getting an automatic extension to file -- but not pay; you did send the IRS any tax you owed when you filed Form 4868, didn't you? -- will give you until Oct. 15 to file your forms.

Actually, this year Oct. 15 falls on a Saturday, so you get until Monday, Oct. 17 to finish filling out your return.

Just in case you're wondering what's wrong with your memory, don't. A six-month filing extension did used to be a two-step process.

Up until the 2005 tax year, you filled out Form 4868 to get four months, until Aug. 15, to complete your taxes. And then if you needed even more time, you had to file Form 2688 to get the two additional months.

For the 2005 tax year, however, which meant returns were due in 2006, the IRS changed things. This time, though, the change was for the better as the extension process was simplified, noted in that year's What's New announcement on the revised form.

4868 changes

You now make one request using Form 4868 and that gives you until Oct. 15, or the next business day if that date falls on a weekend or federal holiday, to file your federal income tax return.

As I mentioned, each year I still get a couple of questions from folks who many years ago filed for an extension when the two-step system was in place. I'm glad I get to tell them that they don't have to panic today.

But to avoid a filing frenzy in a couple more months, you can go ahead and get your taxes completed well before the October deadline. The IRS will gladly take your returns early, relatively speaking.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.