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How to file a tax extension

Georgia residents who can't file their tax return by the April 17 deadline are entitled to ask for an additional six months to do so. In most cases, the extension request is granted automatically. Furthermore, it is generally possible to do so by filing IRS Form 4868 or through a taxpayer's preferred tax filing software program. It is important to point out that this is only an extension to file the return itself.

Any taxes owed to the IRS are still due by the April 17 deadline. As a general rule, it is a good idea for an individual to file a tax return or an extension even if he or she cannot pay a balance owed. This is because the IRS levies a 5 percent penalty per month up to 25 percent of an unpaid balance unless a person has a good reason why this wasn't done on time.

If a person pays a balance owed late, the IRS charges a penalty of .5 percent of the unpaid balance per month. Interest also accrues on the unpaid portion at a rate of 5 percent annually. This amount compounds daily, and there is no penalty for those who pay at least 90 percent of their balance owed by the April deadline.

Most people have income taxes withheld from their paycheck by their employers. However, those who don't have enough taken out or who are self-employed may be responsible for paying any balance owed. Taxpayers may consult with the IRS directly if they have questions about their return or have questions about how and when to pay any taxes owed, but they might also want to obtain legal advice.

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