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Go ahead, file a tax extension, but you still have to pay
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Tribune has been providing down-the-stretch tips and reminders to help you complete the right forms, apply for all the deductions and credits you can, and get your tax filings in on time by April 15.

Countdown Tip No. 1: File an extension if you need more time.

Well, folks, we're near the end of the line. Tomorrow is April 15, which means the tax filling deadline is upon us.

It appears that more than a few of you put off filing early in the process this year. (As of March 22, the IRS had received 80,467,000 returns, down 5 percent from that date a year ago).

Turns out, there is a way to buy another six months' time if you need it. There are three ways to file for a tax extension. Send in an extension form electronically, mail in a paper extension form or estimate what you owe and pay some or all of that amount.

If you plan to extend online, use Form 4868. Some e-file services allow you to file extensions for free; others charge a fee, so shop around a bit. You'll also need your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your last year's tax return in order to fill out the form.

If you prefer to file an extension by mail, send Form 4868 to the address on the form.

And if you want to pay based on your estimated income tax, you can do so by credit card, debit card or by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). You can also pay by phone or Internet through one of the service providers listed on the form.

But just because you file an extension doesn't mean your tax obligations go away. You still need to pay some or all of what you owe on your taxes, and that needs to happen by April 15.

More information is available at IRS.gov.

Until next year, happy filing.

jnpearce@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jnpearce —

Countdown to April 15 — last-minute tips

Haven't filed your taxes yet? Check out The Tribune's Countdown to Tax Day series with information that can help as the deadline approaches:

April 4 • Where to get free help

April 5 • How to avoid tax scams

April 6 • The joys of filing electronically

Sunday • What's the Earned Income Tax Credit?

Tuesday • Don't miss out on the Child and Dependent Care Credit

Wednesday • Understand your taxes if you're self-employed

Thursday • Watch out for fees when paying taxes by credit card

Friday • Reduce your taxes by saving for retirement

Saturday • Use the Taxpayer Advocate when tackling the IRS

Today • Don't ignore your taxes; file an extension to get more time

Personal finance • Procrastinators can stretch out the filing deadline for up to six months.
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