What to know about filing an IRS tax extension

Taxpayers in Arkansas have until May 17 to pay any federal income taxes that are due for the 2020 tax year. However, most taxpayers have the right to ask for an extension to file their actual returns.

Extensions can be filed for any reason

You will most likely file for an extension of time to file a tax return because you’re still waiting for a tax form. For instance, your brokerage may have forgotten to issue a tax form listing your capital gains for the past year. It’s also possible that the link to an electronic form is no longer valid, which means that you won’t be able to file an accurate return until a new copy can be sent.

How do you request an extension?

Typically, the software program that you used to prepare your return will allow you to request an extension in lieu of sending those documents to the IRS. If you pay your taxes through a payment provider affiliated with the IRS, you can specify that the payment is related to an extension. This will alert the government that you need more time to file without having to submit additional paperwork. A tax law attorney may be able to send Form 4868 to the government on your behalf.

If you have any questions about your federal tax obligations, an attorney may be able to answer them. A legal representative may also respond to an IRS notice, represent your interests during an audit or take other steps to ensure that your tax returns are filed properly. This may minimize the risk of paying a fine, interest on a past due balance or other penalties that the IRS may assess.