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What to Do after Filing a Tax Extension

What to Do after Filing a Tax Extension - TaxACT Blog

If you didn’t quite finish your tax return by April 18, filing for a tax extension was a smart move.

It’s easy to complete Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File, and get another six months to put everything together.

In fact, it’s a little too easy. And the extension of time is often more time than most of us need.

The new October 16 deadline may seem far away, but be cautious! It will be here before you know it.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your tax return on track.

Do as much as you can on your return.

If you haven’t already, prepare as much of your return as you can now.

If you’re waiting for information from someone else, make an estimate.

Mark estimated amounts on your return, so you’ll remember to go back to them later.

Keep track of your tax notes.

As you prepare your return, you should keep a notebook or list on your computer of tax items you still need (use a tax return checklist) and questions you have.

As you find the information you need, check it off the list.

Additionally, jot down how you arrived at different amounts, such as the square footage of your office or how many days you spent at a vacation rental you own.

Keep these notes with your tax return.

That way, if the IRS ever questions anything on your return, your notes can help explain where you got your information.

Keep your tax documents organized.

Before you file your tax documents, take a few minutes to arrange them so they’re easy to find later.

Make notes on credit card statements and receipts as necessary.

Place check marks on tax documents to indicate the information you already entered on your tax return.

A little preparation now will save you from starting all over when you get back to working on your return.

Finish up as soon as possible.

Trust me, you’ll enjoy summer vacation a lot more if you know you already filed your tax return.

This is especially true if you’re worried about how much tax you’ll owe when you file.

Don’t hold onto your return forever, hoping to find more deductions. Simply do the best you can and file.

It won’t get easier to remember deductions and other information as times goes by.

If you find something important later, you can always file an amended tax return.

Also, as you complete your return, don’t forget to enter any payments you made when filing your April 18 extension.

TaxAct makes preparing and filing your taxes quick, easy and affordable so you get your maximum refund. It’s the best deal in tax. Start free now or sign into your TaxAct Account.
About Sally Herigstad

Sally Herigstad is a certified public accountant and personal finance columnist and author of Help! I Can't Pay My Bills, Surviving a Financial Crisis (St. Martin's Griffin). She writes regularly at CreditCards.com, Bankrate.com, Interest.com, RedPlum, and MSN Money. She is an experienced speaker and a member of Toastmasters International. Follow Sally on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Same question for me too. what happens if you didn’t file an extension? It is necessary to file it. Has there been any benefits like tax saving, tax concession ???

  2. christine says:

    what happens if you didn’t file an extension?

  3. These are great tax tips! Filing taxes can be stressful sometimes. I like your idea of making an estimate even if you’re waiting for information from someone else. It’s good to stay ahead of the game.

  4. my wifes debit card denied my tax return im guessing because it wasn’t in my name. How long will it take to come in the mail and do I need to contact the irs. Ive called them the last three days for probably 6 hours on hold and cant reach anybody so I can really figure out whats going on.

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