Extension of time to file

April 09, 2012 – TaxTalk Blog

My next door neighbor called last night all in a panic. She knew the tax filing due date was quickly approaching, and she couldn’t locate all her tax statements. I let her vent for a bit and then we talked about getting an extension of time to file.

Extensions come in two basic categories, based on whether you owe additional tax or expect to get a refund (or to break even).

First, let’s talk about what to do if you haven’t paid enough tax, and expect to owe when you file.

An extension of time to file extends the time you have to get all your information together so you can file. That said, it does not extend the time to pay any tax you may owe. The tax is still due on April 17, 2012.

Here’s how a state extension works for you:

  • Figure how much you expect to owe. I know, I know; if you can do that why get an extension? Why not just go ahead and file? Well, you may have to wait to file until you get all the necessary paperwork (like a W-2 form). Or maybe you need your spouse’s signature, and your spouse is out of town.
  • Pay at least 90 percent of the tax you expect to owe.
  • File your tax return by June 18, and pay any additional tax due at that time. While interest will be due with this payment, the penalty will be waived.
  • Note – If you have followed these steps AND you have a valid federal extension of time to file (Form 4868), you have until Nov. 19, 2012 (yes, you read that right, Nov. 19) to file with us and pay the remaining amount due. Just remember that interest will be due with the amount you pay.

Here are two ways to file for an extension with Indiana:

  • To figure how much you owe and to pay online by credit card or electronic check, visit www.in.gov/dor/epay/index.html
  • Download Form IT-9, figure how much you owe and mail in your payment with the IT-9.

Now, if you are expecting a refund, or expect to break even, and you can’t file by April 17, you’ll still need to file for an extension. That said, you have a couple of options.

Here’s how an extension works for you if you don’t owe:

  • If you have filed for a federal extension of time to file (probably federal Form 4868), then you won’t need an additional extension for Indiana filing purposes. In fact, this extends your filing period with Indiana to November 19, 2012. 
  • If you don’t have a federal extension, just complete Form IT-9, get it postmarked by April 17, and file your tax return by June 18, 2012.

For military personnel needing an extension, there are special filing considerations. The Department of Revenue’s Information Bulletin 27 can give you details about extensions, taxability of income, deductions, and a range of information for those serving in the military. Also, if you or your spouse are serving in a combat zone, check out combat zone issues for tax information specific to your situation.

Finally, if you are planning on mailing your tax return (or extension payment) in the late evening hours of April 17, call the U.S. Postal Service ahead of time. While several branches used to stay open until midnight on tax day, last year only a handful did.

If you would like to submit a question or topic suggestions, please send them to feedback@dor.in.gov
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