Should I get an extension, or amend later? Should I pay an estimated amount if I owe taxes?

Rowen Member Posts: 9 Newcomer
edited April 12 in Filing my taxes

I still need more time, and the April 15 deadline is coming up soon. Should I file an extension, or amend later?

Should I pay an estimated amount if I owe taxes? I owe quite a bit for not paying the Estimated Taxes through the year. Is it easy to get a refund if the estimated amount is over what I should be paying? Do they refund through the Direct Deposit or bank account linked to IRS and state sites?

If I file an extension, can I still file and pay on time, by April 15?

Is it ok to file extensions indefinitely, like every year, if needed?

What are the pros and cons of filing an extension vs. amending?

Best Answer

  • Henry
    Henry FreeTaxUSA Agent Posts: 86
    edited April 12 Answer ✓

    Hi Rowen, it is generally best not to knowingly file incorrect/incomplete information, so I would recommend filing an extension in this situation. An extension will extend your tax return filing date to October 15th. That will give you more time to get your paperwork together and file an accurate tax return.

    Please note that an extension does NOT extend the amount of time you have to pay your taxes. If you owe money, you need to send in your payment by the original filing deadline (April 15, 2024) in order to avoid interest or late payment penalties.

    When sending an estimated payment with your extension filing, it is usually best to overestimate your payment if you aren't sure of the exact amount owed. You can claim a refund of any overpayment when you eventually file your tax return. To do that, you need to account for your estimated payment by selecting Misc > Payments > Extension and Other Payments from the menu. Then you will be able to choose your preferred refund method as you go through the Final Steps menu.

    Even if you file an extension, you are still able to file your tax return on time. The extension gives you extra time to file, but you aren't required to use that extra time. You can file your return whenever you are ready.

    You can file an extension every year if you want.

    If you determine that you would like to file an extension, you can do so by clicking on the Account menu and selecting "File an Extension".


  • Rowen
    Rowen Member Posts: 9 Newcomer

    Does California/FTB not require us to file an extension, and automatically grants another 6 months, until October? Does that mean there's no penalty for filing after April 15, but before Oct. 15 or so? Do we have a penalty if we don't pay on time, though?

    If we file an extension through FreeTaxUSA, does it automatically do it for FTB as well? Does that mean we have to file the state tax return through FreeTaxUSA, with the $14.99 fee? Does it automatically calculate the estimated state amount for me as well? Will I get a refund from the state if it's over the actual amount?

    If I filed the state return separately through the FTB site, does that mean I have to pay on time (by Apr 15), or I'll get a penalty?

  • kiarab
    kiarab FreeTaxUSA Agent Posts: 58

    California does grant you an automatic extension See

    But for both federal and state, if you believe you will owe taxes, you should make a payment before the filing deadline. Otherwise you will be subject to a late payment penalty. The extension prevents the late filing penalty (which is usually worse). If you do pay too much, then you will be refunded the excess payment when you file your tax returns, for state and federal returns.

    You are not required to file your state return through us, even if you did file the extension with us. The software doesn't calculate the estimated amount owed exactly, but if you fill out your state return in our software (as much as you can), you should have a good estimate of what you may owe.