IRS offers several options for taxpayers who can't pay their tax bills
Cheers! It's Income Tax Cocktail time

The procrastinating taxpayer's best friend, Form 4868

Happy Tax Day, this time for real.

This filing season is shaping up like most. A whole lot of us have put off tax filing until the last minute.

In 2011, the Internal Revenue Service received more than 145 million individual returns. At this time last year, the federal tax office had in hand only around 97 million returns.

Taxpayers are on a bit faster pace this year, with almost 99 million having sent in their forms.

But that still leaves more than 46 million of us who have been working on our taxes these last few days.

And if historic filing patterns hold, around 10 million of us will postpone our form completion for another few months. Today's final Daily Tax Tip for the 2012 filing season looks at how we can get extra filing time.

The wide range of postponing taxpayers: We (yep, I'm part of this year's delayed filing fun, too) are in good, or at least wealthy, company.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also has submitted the tax procrastinators favorite document, Form 4868.

Form 4868 extension to file

This short (nine lines) and easy (really!) tax form will get you until Oct. 15 to finish your tax forms. Of course, you can send in your return any time before then that you finish it.

Today, however, you need to get 4868 on its way to the IRS.

Payment required: And note lines 4 through 7. This is where you make a good estimate of your 2011 tax liability, subtract the amount you've paid via withholding or estimated taxes and then send in the balance, or as close to it as you can.

As this section of Form 4868 makes clear, the form is an extension to file, not an extension to pay.

So if you can't finish your full return today, then by all means send Uncle Sam your Form 4868 and don't forget to pay as much of your projected bill as possible.

E-file or snail mail, your choice: You can file Form 4868 electronically. That will mean, however, that you will need to e-pay what you owe Uncle Sam.

If you prefer to write an old-school paper check, then make sure your Form 4868's envelope is postmarked by midnight today. Find the snail mail address for your state in the table below.

Form 4868 snail mail address
Click image for a larger view.

We're not finished: If you must file a state taxes, most of those returns are due today, too. Check with your state tax department if you also need for time to finish these forms.

Finally, don't forget about estimated taxes.

If you received income between Jan. 1 and March 30 and taxes weren't withheld from the money, then today is the filing deadline for the 1040-ES that covers that first quarter of the year.

Estimated tax voucher 1

And there's no extension for this extra tax task.

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Muhammad Jahid Hasan

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