Tax Day is less than a week away. If you have not gotten your tax forms in order yet, you may want to consider filing for an extension.

I can get an extension on my tax returns? In some cases, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will allow taxpayers additional time to file their returns. If the request is approved, the taxpayer does not need to file until October 15, 2019.

How do I request a deadline? There are many options. Some of the more common include:

  • Mail in a request. Individual taxpayers that prefer to mail a request can file Form 4868. In order to qualify without penalty, the request would need to be postmarked by April 15.
  • Online request. The IRS website offers a free file option. In addition to filing taxes online, taxpayers can also request an extension through this system.

It is important to either file on time or request an extension. A failure to file comes with penalties. The agency states an extension to file does not translate to an extension to pay. As a result, the agency will apply penalties on any unpaid taxes. Taxpayers can avoid or reduce the penalty by making an estimated payment.

What types of penalties? The IRS will apply a 5 percent tax penalty on any unpaid taxes for every month the taxpayer fails to pay. This can reach an additional penalty of 25 percent of the tax bill.

Those who are navigating tax issues have options. An attorney experienced in tax law can help.