This year, because of weekends and holidays, your federal tax return is due on April 18 instead of the usual April 15 deadline. April 18 is also the deadline for several other important tax-related actions. For example, your first estimated tax payment for 2011 is due April 18. But that’s not all. There are several other important steps you should consider taking before the deadline.
File an extension
If, like many people, you don’t want to have to file your completed return by April 18, you can obtain an automatic six-month extension of time to file. This is very easy to do. You simply fill out Internal Revenue Service Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
You can either email the completed form to the IRS or send it by postal mail. It must be sent by April 18, 2011.
You don’t have to tell the IRS why you want the extension, and you can’t be denied the extension — you get it automatically by filing the form. However, when you file Form 4868 you must estimate your total tax liability for 2010 and list it on the form.