Can’t File By April 18, 2016? Use Free File to Get a Six-Month Extension

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded 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 relief online.

 

Six Month Tax Filing Extensions

The IRS says don’t panic. Tax-filing extensions are available to taxpayers who need more time to finish their returns. Remember, 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 and other relief.

Either way, taxpayers will avoid stiff 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. Taxpayers should file, even if they can’t pay the full amount due. Here are further details on the options available.

 

More Time to File Taxes

People who haven’t finished filling out their return can get an automatic six-month extension. The fastest and easiest way to get the extra time is through the Free File link on IRS.gov. In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an automatic tax-filing extension on Form 4868.

Filing this form 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.

Avoid IRS Late Filing Penalty

By properly filing this form, a taxpayer will 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. The current interest rate is three percent per year, compounded daily, and the late-payment penalty is normally 0.5 percent per month.

Besides Free File, taxpayers can choose to request an extension through a paid tax preparer, using tax-preparation software or by filing a paper Form 4868, available on IRS.gov. Of the nearly 10.7 million extension forms received by the IRS last year, almost 5.8 million were filed electronically.

 

Who gets automatic IRS Tax Filing Extension?

Some taxpayers get more time to file without having to ask for it. These include:

  • Taxpayers abroad. U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work abroad, as well as members of the military on duty outside the U.S., have until June 17 to file. Tax payments are still due April 15.
  • Members of the military and others serving in Afghanistan or other combat zone localities. Typically, taxpayers can wait until at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file returns and pay any taxes due. For details, see Extensions of Deadlines in Publication 3, Armed Forces Tax Guide.
  • People affected by certain tornadoes, severe storms, floods and other recent natural disasters. Currently, parts of Mississippi are covered by a federal disaster declaration, and affected individuals and businesses in these areas have until April 30 to file and pay.

Easy Ways to E-Pay Taxes

Taxpayers with a balance due now have several quick and easy ways to electronically pay what they owe. They include:

  • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). This free service gives taxpayers a safe and convenient way to pay individual and business taxes by phone or online. To enroll or for more information, call 800-316-6541 FREE or visit www.eftps.gov.
  • Electronic funds withdrawal. E-file and e-pay in a single step.
  • Credit or debit card. Both paper and electronic filers can pay their taxes by phone or online through any of several authorized credit and debit card processors. Though the IRS does not charge a fee for this service, the card processors do. For taxpayers who itemize their deductions, these convenience fees can be claimed on Schedule A Line 23.

 

How to Send Money to the IRS?

Taxpayers who choose to pay by check or money order should make the payment out to the “United States Treasury.” Write “2012 Form 1040,” name, address, daytime phone number and Social Security number on the front of the check or money order. To help insure that the payment is credited promptly, also enclose a Form 1040-V payment voucher.

 

More Time to Pay Taxes

Taxpayers who have finished their returns should file by the regular April 15 deadline, even if they can’t pay the full amount due. In many cases, those struggling with unpaid taxes qualify for one of several relief programs, including the following:

What is an Online Payment Agreement?

Most people can set up a payment agreement with the IRS on line in a matter of minutes. Those who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest can use the Online Payment Agreement to set up a monthly payment agreement for up to 72 months. Taxpayers can choose this option even if they have not yet received a bill or notice from the IRS. With the Online Payment Agreement, no paperwork is required, there is no need to call, write or visit the IRS and qualified taxpayers can avoid the filing of a Notice of Federal Tax Lien if one was not previously filed. Alternatively, taxpayers can request a payment agreement by filing Form 9465. This form can be downloaded from IRS.gov and mailed along with a tax return, bill or notice.

 

What is an IRS Offer in Compromise?

Some struggling taxpayers may qualify for an offer-in-compromise. This is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. The IRS looks at the taxpayer’s income and assets to make a determination regarding the taxpayer’s ability to pay. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier, a free online tool available on IRS.gov.

Details on all filing and payment options are on IRS.gov

When must Companies send you a W2 for Taxes?

When do you have to receive a Form w-2?

A common question that is asked frequently: Is there a date where your company has to send you your W2 by?

Employers have until 2/2/2015 to make them available (1/31 falls on a Saturday this year) by mail or electronically. If it is mailed, you should expect to receive them no later than 2/15/2015. If your address has changed, contact the employer and let them know. Employers are legally required to keep W-2 forms on file for at least four years. Employers are also legally required to fill out an employment identification number (EIN) form with the IRS.

 

What to do if you do not receive a W-2?

Not receiving a W2 can be a big violation of the law for an employer. Remember, things get lost in the mail and it might always work out better to contact your employer for you W2 before contacting the IRS. If you don’t have it by 2/17/2015, and you previously contacted the employers, you can call IRS customer service at 1-800-829-0922 M – F 7am – 7pm and speak with a representative. Let them know you are expecting a Form W-2, you attempted to contact the employer(s), and you have the current business address.

 

Filling out Form 4852

The representative will process a formal W-2 request by mail on your behalf. You will receive a letter explaining the Service’s actions, and a Form 4852Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. The employer will receive a letter providing your current address and a description of the penalty for not complying with the request.

 

Filing Taxes with no W-2

You still must file your tax return or request an extension to file by April 15, 2015, even if you do not receive your Form W-2. If you have not received your Form W-2 by the due date and have completed steps 1 and 2, you may use Form 4852 Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Attach Form 4852 to the return, estimating income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible.  There may be a delay in any refund due while the information is verified.  You may receive your missing W-2 after you filed your return using Form 4852, and the information may be different from what you reported on your return. If this happens, you must amend your return by filing a Form 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

 

Information needed to create a replacement W-2 Year’s wages

If your Form W-2 never arrives, you can create your own for tax-filing purposes.

  • Payroll taxes withheld.
  • Federal and state income taxes withheld.
  • Contributions to your company retirement/401(k) plan.
  • Employer’s tax identification number.

 

Corrected Wage and Tax Statement. File Form W-3c

And in cases where an employer has filed for bankruptcy or ceased operations, the IRS suggests you send a copy of Form 4852 to your local Social Security Administration office. The agency’s office locator can help you find the one nearest you. This should ensure that you get proper credit for the Social Security and Medicare taxes you paid so that your checks will be correct when it comes time to collect these benefits. If you are an employer and discover an error on an employee’s Form W-2 after sending it to the SSA, submit a Form W-2c (PDF), Corrected Wage and Tax Statement. File Form W-3c (PDF), Transmittal of Corrected Wage and Tax Statements, whenever you file a Form W-2c with the SSA.

Fixing Mistakes on Tax Return with Form 1040X

There are several options available to taxpayers who make a mistake on a tax return that they have filed. If you discover an error after you file your tax return, this can be corrected by amending a tax return (Form 1040X).

Here are 10 tips from the Internal Revenue Service about amending your federal tax return:

  1. When amending a tax return- Generally, you must file an amended return if your filing status, number of dependents, total income, tax deductions or tax credits were reported incorrectly or omitted. Additional reasons are listed in the instructions to amend your return.
  2. When NOT to amend a declaration- In some cases, you do not need to amend your tax return. The IRS usually corrects math errors or requests missing, forms such as W-2s or schedules – when the original statement is processed. In these cases, it is best not amend your return.
  3. You must use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to amend a 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ previously submitted. Be sure to mark the box on Form 1040X for the year of the return you are amending. An amended tax return can not be filed electronically.
  4. Multiple amended returns –  If you-are amending more than one tax year, prepare a 1040X for each return and mail them in.
  5. The Form 1040X, Form 1040X has three columns. Column A shows original figures from the statement. Column B shows the changes that are being made. Column C shows the corrected figures. There is an area at the back of the form explaining the specific changes and the reason for the change.
  6. Other Forms or Attachments- If the changes involve other schedules or forms, attach them to the Form 1040X. Failure to do so will delay processing.
  7. Additional Reimbursement- If you are making a return to claim a refund for an adjustment resulting in an additional refund, wait until you receive your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund.
  8. Additional tax- If you owe additional tax, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges.
  9. When to file Generally, to claim a refund, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  10. Processing time Normal processing of amended returns is 8 to 12 weeks

Filing an Amended Tax Return After Deadline

What kind of information is there to know about filing an amended tax return? Did you discover a mistake after filing your federal taxes?

What to Do If you Cannot Pay Taxes on Time

You can correct filing an amended tax return.The IRS will accept an amended return up to 3 years after the date you filed the original return or within 2 years after you paid the tax due on the return, whichever is later. In certain tax situations, such as net operating loss (NOL) carrybacks, general business credit carrybacks, or situations involving bad debts, you may be eligible for extended amendment deadlines. The IRS usually has three years to assess additional taxes. However, longer periods apply for significant underreporting of income or fraud.

 

Here are ten things you should know about filing an amended tax return.

  1. Use Form 1040X , Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (in English) to correct errors on your tax return. Must file an amended return on paper. It can not be submitted through e-file.
  2. Generally, you must file an amended tax return if you made a mistake on your filing status, income, deductions or credits on your original return.
  3. Normally, you need not file an amended return to correct mathematical errors. The IRS will automatically make the changes for you. Also, do not file an amended return because you forgot to attach tax forms such as Form W-2. Generally, the IRS will send you an application.
  4. To claim a refund, normally, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return. You can also submit within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later than the rule of three. This means that the last day for many people submit the 2010 return and claim a refund is April 15, 2014. See instructions Form 1040X (English) because special rules apply to certain claims.

 

Using Form 1040X to Amend Tax Return

  1. If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a Form 1040X for each year. You must submit each year in separate envelopes. Enter the tax year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. Verify the address where to send your return.
  2. Using other IRS forms or schedules to make changes, be sure to attach your Form 1040X.
  3. If you are due a refund of your original return, wait to receive the refund before filing Form 1040X to claim an additional refund. Amended returns take up to 12 weeks to process. You can spend your original refund while waiting for any additional refund.
  4. If you owe more taxes, file your Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible. This will reduce the interest and penalties.
  5. You can track the status of your amended tax return three weeks after you file, with ‘ Where’s My Amended Declaration? ‘. This tool is available at IRS.gov or by calling 866-464-2050. It is available in English and Spanish. The tool can track the status of an amended statement for the current year and three previous years.
  6. To use “Where’s My Amended Declaration? ‘ enter your taxpayer identification number, which is usually your Social Security number. Also need your date of birth and zip code. If you have filed amended returns for several years, select each year, one by one.

 

Filing Tax Form 1040X

When you file a Form 1040X, attach these items if you’re required to show them to back up the changes on your amended return:

  • Forms
  • Schedules
  • Statements
1040x

Do You Need to Amend Your Tax Return?

Do You Need to Amend Your Tax Return?

If you forgot to include some income or to take a deduction on your tax return – you can correct it by amending your tax return.

In some cases, you do not need to amend your tax return.  The Internal Revenue Service usually corrects math errors or requests missing forms – such as W-2s or schedules – when processing an original return. In these instances, do not amend your return.

 

However, you should file an amended return if any of the following were reported incorrectly:

  • Your filing status
  • Your dependents
  • Your total income
  • Your deductions or credits

You may also elect to amend your 2009 return if you are eligible to claim the first-time homebuyer credit for a qualified 2010 home purchase.  The amended tax return will allow you to claim the homebuyer credit on your 2009 return without waiting until next year to claim it on the 2010 return.

Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct a previously filed Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. Be sure to check the box for the year of the return you are amending on the Form 1040X, Line B. If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a 1040X for each return and mail them in separate envelopes to the appropriate IRS processing center.. The 1040X instructions list the addresses for the centers.

 

Filing Form 1040X

The newly revised Form 1040X (Rev. January 2010) now has only one column used to show the corrected figures. There is an area on the front of the form where you explain why you are filing Form 1040X.

If the changes involve other schedules or forms, attach them to the Form 1040X. For example, if you are filing a 1040X because you have a qualifying child and now want to claim the Earned Income Credit, you must attach a Schedule EIC, Earned Income Credit to show the qualifying person’s name, year of birth and Social Security number.

If you are filing to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund. If you owe additional tax for 2009, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges. Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the due date of the original return, without regard to extensions.

Generally, to claim a refund, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

 

Have you ever had to amend a return?
Share your experience with us by leaving a comment below.

tax forms

Top Ten Facts about Amended Returns

You can make a change or an adjustment to a tax return you’ve already filed by filing an amended return.

 

Here are the top 10 things you need to know about amending your federal tax return.

  1. If you need to amend your tax return, use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
  2. Use Form 1040X to correct previously filed Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. The 1040X can also be used to correct a return filed electronically. However, you can only paper file an amended return.
  3. You should file an amended return if you discover any of the following items were reported incorrectly: filing status, dependents, total income, deductions or credits.
  4. Generally, you do not need to file an amended return for math errors. The IRS will automatically make the correction.
  5. You usually do not need to file an amended return because you forgot to include tax forms such as W-2s or schedules. The IRS normally will send a request asking for those documents.
  6. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. Generally, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  7. If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a 1040X for each return and mail them in separate envelopes to the IRS campus for the area in which you live. The 1040X instructions list the addresses for the campuses.
  8. If the changes involve another schedule or form, you must attach it to the 1040X.
  9. If you are filing to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund.
  10. If you owe additional tax for 2009, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges. Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the due date of the original return, without regard to extensions.

 

Additional IRS Resources on Amended Returns:

 

IRS YouTube Videos on Amended Returns:

1040x_sm

Amending Your Tax Return

You’ve discovered an error or determined that you are entitled to a previously unclaimed credit or deduction, after your tax return has been filed. Do you need to amend your tax return?

The IRS usually corrects math errors or requests missing forms – such as W-2s or schedules – when processing an original return. In these instances, do not amend your return.

 

Amending Your Tax Return

However, you should file an amended return if any of the following were reported incorrectly:

1040x

  • Your filing status
  • Your dependents
  • Your total income
  • Your deductions or credits

You may also elect to amend your 2008 return if you are eligible to claim the new first-time homebuyer credit of up to $8,000 for a qualified 2009 home purchase. The amended tax return will allow you to claim the homebuyer credit on your 2008 return without waiting until next year to claim it on the 2009 return.

Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct a previously filed Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ submitted electronically or by mail. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a 1040X for each return and mail them in separate envelopes to the IRS processing center for the area in which you live. The 1040X instructions list the addresses for the centers.

 

The Form 1040X has three columns.

Column A is used to show original or adjusted figures from the original return.
Column C is used to show the corrected figures. The difference between the figures in Columns A and C is shown in Column B.
There is an area on the back of the form where you explain the specific changes being made to the return and the reason for each change.

If the changes involve other schedules or forms, attach them to the Form 1040X. For example, if you are filing a 1040X because you have a qualifying child and now want to claim the Earned Income Credit, you must attach a Schedule EIC to show the qualifying person’s name, year of birth and Social Security number.

If you are filing to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund. If you owe additional tax for 2008, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges. Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the due date of the original return, without regard to extensions.

Generally, to claim a refund, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

Form 1040X and instructions are available below or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Download:

Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

Top Ten Facts about Amended Returns

Taxpayers who need to make a change or adjustment on a return they already filed can do so by filing an amended return. You sign your federal income tax return under penalties of perjury.  That means it should be accurate and complete.If you discover an error after your return has been filed, you may need to amend your return. The IRS may correct errors in math on a return and may accept returns with certain forms or schedules left out. In these instances, do not amend your return! However, do file an amended return if there is a change in your filing status, income, deductions, or credits.

 

Top Ten Facts about Amended Returns

Be aware that you have three years to make any corrections that result in additional tax refunds. That’s because there’s a three-year statute of limitations on issuing tax refund checks. This three-year period is measured from the date you filed your original tax return. If you filed your return before April 15th, the three-year period begins from April 15th. If you requested an extension, the three-year period runs from October 15th (Internal Revenue Code section 6511(b)(2)(A)).

 

Here are the top 10 things every taxpayer should know about amending your federal tax return.

  1. Taxpayers needing to amend their return use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
  2. Taxpayers can use Form 1040X to correct previously filed Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. The 1040X can also be used to correct a return filed electronically.
  3. Taxpayers should file an amended return if they discover any of the following items were reported incorrectly: filing status, dependents, total income, deductions or credits.
  4. Generally, you do not need to file an amended return for math errors as the IRS will be ale to make the correction for you.
  5. You also do not usually need to file an amended return because you forgot to include forms – such as W-2s or schedules – when you filed; the IRS normally requests those forms from you.
  6. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. Generally, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  7. If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a 1040X for each return and mail them in separate envelopes to the IRS processing center for the area in which you live. The 1040X instructions list the addresses for the centers.
  8. If the changes involve another schedule or form, attach it to the 1040X.
  9. If you are filing to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund.
  10. If you owe additional tax for 2008, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges. Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the due date of the original return, without regard to extensions.

 

Amended Tax Returns and Audits

The IRS rarely brings up an originally filed return in civil audits or in criminal prosecutions once the taxpayer has come forward and attempted to correct it by filing an amended return.  However, to take advantage of this rule, you need to make the correction before the IRS finds your error. If you do file an amended return, you can’t cherry-pick and make only those corrections that get you money back, but not those that increase your tax liability.  You must correct everything so you can sign under penalties of perjury.

Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
Form 1040X Instructions

Tax Topic 308 — Amended Returns

Amended tax returns have to be mailed to the IRS on paper for manual processing. The IRS typically processes an amended return about 8 to 12 weeks, but this process can take longer during the IRS’s busiest times.