For those who abhor deadlines, but also like something free, H&R Block is coming to their aid. Now through the April 15 tax filing deadline, all participating H&R Block locations and At Home online are offering free tax extension filing.
But, don't think an extension to file also means an extension to pay. Almost half of Americans weren't aware they still had to pay taxes owed even if they filed a tax return extension, according to a survey conducted by The Tax Institute at H&R Block.
H&R Block also is providing additional information online for late-season filers. Its Extension Resource Center is a one-stop resource for information about filing an extension, including how to pay any balance due conveniently and securely using a credit or debit card.
"Rushing to file a tax return by the deadline can mean missing out on claiming valuable tax breaks that can cost taxpayers more in taxes than they actually owe," said Kathy Pickering, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block. "Taxpayers may want to seek assistance to file an accurate tax return to claim all the tax credits and deductions they are due or with filing a free extension."
On average, more than 10 million taxpayers applied for a tax filing extension each of the past few years. This gave them time to file accurate returns and avoid the 5-percent monthly failure-to file-penalty.
This extension gives taxpayers an extra six months to file a tax return, making the new filing deadline Oct. 15. H&R Block can help taxpayers understand their payment options if there is a balance due.
Taxpayers residing outside the country (including members of the military) routinely receive an additional two months to file, making their deadline June 15 this year.
IRS offering additional payment assistance.
This year, the IRS is allowing late-payment penalty relief to some who request an extension to file. To get this relief, the taxpayer also must be filing one of the delayed IRS forms resulting from tax legislation passed in January. Additionally, taxpayers must pay their "good faith" estimate of their tax bill by April 15. The IRS will waive any late-payment penalties applied to the taxpayer's balance due if these guidelines are followed. Interest still applies to the unpaid balance.
For more information about applying for a free tax extension at an H&R Block office, visit www.hrblock.com or call 800-HRBLOCK.