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Tax-Filing Tip If You’re Running Late for April 15 Deadline: File an Extension [Video]

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The IRS expects to receive 135 million tax returns by the filing deadline of April 15 — as in 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

However, about 12 million taxpayers will have requested extensions by the filing deadline, giving them an extra 6 months to file, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

The fastest and easiest way to get extra time is through the Free File link on IRS.gov. In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use the free service to electronically request an automatic tax-filing extension on Form 4868.

Filing the form gives U.S. 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.

By properly filing this form, a taxpayer will avoid the late-filing penalty, which is 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 interest rate is currently 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 more than 12 million extension forms received by the IRS last year, over 7 million were filed electronically.

Michigan Income Tax

The Michigan Department of Treasury is encouraging taxpayers to take advantage of e-filing for convenience and faster refunds.

Last year, more than 70 percent of all Michigan income tax returns were filed electronically. Through April 8, Treasury has processed more than 3.3 million individual income tax returns, with 87-percent of those having been e-filed.

Michigan taxpayers have easy access to all forms, instructions, and information they might need to complete and file their individual income tax returns by visiting www.michigan.gov/incometax.

Taxpayers can access information about e-file, including free e-file opportunities, by visiting www.MIfastfile.org. Free e-filing is available to thousands of taxpayers, based on adjusted gross income, age, or active military status. Other low-cost e-file opportunities are available as well. E-filing is the fastest, easiest, and most convenient way to file your Michigan income tax return.

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