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File a Tax Extension Now to Beat Today's Deadline

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We're finally at the end of this year's long, drawn out tax filing season. The due date for filing your 2019 tax return was pushed back from April 15 to July 15, 2020, which means you only have a few hours left to beat the clock and file your return before the new deadline expires at midnight. But what if, for whatever reason, you just can't file your return today? Don't panic – it's easy to get an automatic filing extension to October 15. You don't even need to have a good excuse or explain why you need more time.

Be warned, though, that an extension to file doesn't extend the time to pay any tax due. If you don't pay the estimated total tax you owe by the end of the day, the IRS will charge you interest on the unpaid balance (even if you had a good reason for not paying on time). They can also tack on additional penalties for filing and paying late. Don't get caught in that trap!

There are two ways to request an automatic three-month extension: File Form 4868 or make an electronic tax payment. Either way, you need to act by the end of the day.

You can file Form 4868 by mail or electronically. If you mail a paper version of the form to the IRS, it must be postmarked today at the latest. You have to use the U.S. Postal Service to mail the form, since it must be delivered to a P.O. box (private delivery services can't deliver items to IRS P.O. boxes).........

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