Tax Day is approaching...

This year you have a few extra days to gather up all of your tax papers. The usual tax filing date of April 15 has been extended. You have until Tuesday, April 18, 2017 to file your individual tax returns (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) for the year 2016 or to request an automatic extension (Form 4868). An extension provides an extra six months to file your return. (Payment of the tax is still due by April 18.) You can submit payment for tax along with the extension form.

Here's a little information about tax-filing extensions. NOTE: Extensions are only necessary for taxpayers who anticipate that they are going to owe.

Requesting an extension can go hand in hand with sending payment to the IRS. It’s pretty easy to get an extension. Here’s how:

  1. File Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Tax Return, through IRS e-file or through your online tax software. You also can go old school by filing a paper Form 4868 and sending it with your payment through the mail.
  2. Use Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or a credit or debit card to pay all or part of the estimated tax you owe, and pair it with an extension request. Select the onscreen option or otherwise indicate that the payment is intended for a return on which you’re filing for an extension. You can also pay in cash at a 7-Eleven store that participates in the IRS’ PayNearMe program (payment limits are up to $1,000 per day).

When you file for an extension, your return needs to be en route to the IRS by Oct. 16, 2017. If you live in a state where you pay income tax, your federal extension also gives you an extension for your state return.

George Hill