Running late? The Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers that “quick and easy solutions” are available if they can’t file their returns or pay their taxes on time, and they can even request payment options online. The filing deadline is Tuesday, April 15 – but the IRS expects nearly 147,000 Connecticut taxpayers will file for an extension, which are are available to taxpayers who need more time to finish their returns.
Critical fact: this is an extension of time to file; not an extension of time to pay. However, taxpayers who are having trouble paying what they owe may qualify for payment plans or other options. [There is more information on the IRS website.]
Taxpayers will avoid penalties if they file either a regular income tax return or a request for a tax-filing extension by this year’s April 15 deadline. It is recommended that taxpayers file a return even if they can’t pay the full amount due. Nationwide, the Internal Revenue Service expects to receive more than 12 million extension forms this tax season.
You may recall that in some years past, Connecticut residents have received a one-day reprieve when the tax filing deadline coincided with Patriots Day in Massachusetts, where Connecticut returns were sent for many years. Not so this year. Patriots Day is not until Monday, April 21.
As for Connecticut income taxes, the state Department of Revenue Services indicates that Form CT-1040 EXT should be used to request a six-month extension to file the Connecticut income tax return for individuals. It is not necessary to include a reason for the Connecticut extension request if you have already filed an extension request on federal Form 4868 with the Internal Revenue Service, according to the DRS website. The form can be filed electronically or on paper.
Submitting the automatic tax-filing extension for the IRS on Form 4868 gives taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file a return. To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and should also pay any amount due, according to the IRS.
This will permit taxpayers to avoid the late-filing penalty, normally five percent per month based on the unpaid balance that applies to returns filed after the deadline. In addition, any payment made with an extension request will reduce or eliminate interest and late-payment penalties that apply to payments made after April 15.