Procrastinators Last Minute Guide to Tax Filings

by SMD 

April 15th. Is there a day that makes American groan more? Yep, it is the annual tax filing deadline. Oh, the fun. If you have been procrastinating on your return, here is what you need to know.

The good news is you have a few extra days to file in 2007. The tax code is based on business days. Any deadline that falls on a weekend is automatically bumped to the following Monday. That is the case this year, so you have to the 17th to file.

Last minute filers tend to fall into two categories. They either knuckle down and get it over with or throw up their hands and file an extension for more time. Form 4868 is the filing you need to make if you want to extend.

To the surprise of many, the IRS has a pretty lax attitude towards April 15th. It gives extensions without a problem. In fact, just filing form 4868 will get you an automatic extension until October to get your return in.

While the IRS is pretty liberal when it comes to filing returns, the agency has a different attitude towards payments. Yes, you can have more time to file the return, but you better pay whatever you owe now or you will pay penalties and interest. Send in money with the extension.

Nothing is worse then preparing your return and then realizing you don’t have enough money to pay the amount due. This leads to quandary and massive headache. Is there any potential relief?

The first option is not to file. Instead, you can wait till you have the money to pay Uncle Sam. This is generally not a good idea since you will accrue penalties and interest on the entire amount due.

A better option is to go ahead and file the tax return. You should also send in what you can for payment. The IRS will then send you a notice that you have underpaid. You can then request a payment plan by going to the IRS website.

You are probably wondering what the difference is between the approaches. Ultimately, the second approach saves you money. Why? Well, the interest and penalties you pay will be based on a smaller outstanding debt because you sent at least some money in.

If you are ready to pay your tax liability, there are a couple of ways. You can pay by check as has always been the case. You can also pay by credit card by going to officialpayment[dot]com. You will pay a service fee for using the online system.

Tax refunds are beautiful things. Of course, you never know if you are due one until you figure out your return. If you are, you can apply it to next year’s taxes or get it back. To check on the status of your refund check, visit the IRS site to get a real time report.

I proudly admit to being a procrastinator. If you are like me, D-Day is here. Perhaps we should call it T-Day.

A Guest Article – By: Noel Swanson, 2007-04-07. Tax help is available at

Some Other Articles You May Enjoy


Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!