How to File for a Tax Extension
Wisconsin income tax extensions inform the IRS that you will be filing a return after the initial deadline. For the 2010 tax year, the filing deadline is April 18, 2011; taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 17, 2011, to file their 2010 tax returns.
Legitimate reasons for filing an extension include being unable to obtain necessary tax documents, such as wage statements, or having difficulty locating receipts for deductions. The extension will give someone in these situations additional time to procure these important documents.
Step 1: Gather Important Tax Information and Forms
Before you get started on your extension, you first need to gather all of the relevant tax information and documents:
- Your current mailing address
- Your Social Security number
- Your spouse's name and Social Security number, if you are filing a joint tax return
- Your total earned income for the year - If you are self-employed, this will be the amount of your earnings minus any qualified business expenses you have.
- Your total unearned income for the year that is taxable by Wisconsin - This usually includes interest and dividends, retirement payments or unemployment compensation.
- The amount of your Wisconsin state taxes paid for the year - If you are employed, this amount will be located on your Form W-2 or Form 1099 as "State Taxes Withheld." If you are self-employed, this will be the amount of any estimated tax payments you made.
- A copy of your federal income tax return, if you are filing onehttp://www.revenue.wi.gov/forms/2011/11d-101a.pdf
It's best to complete your federal tax return before you begin working on your state extension. This will help you to have most of the above information in one place when you're ready to begin.http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040.pdf
The state of Wisconsin does not issue its own state tax extension form, so you will need to get a copy of IRS Form 4868, which you can download from the IRS website or pick one up at your local library.http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4868.pdf
Since you will have to figure your tax liability for Wisconsin, you will also need a copy of Form 1, Form 1A, or Form WI-Z, depending on your circumstances, plus instructions for filling out the form. You can download this form from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website or get one from your public library.http://www.revenue.wi.gov/forms/2011/11d-101.pdf
Step 2: Properly Calculate Your State Tax Liability
If you are filing a federal income tax extension, then you will automatically receive a six month extension on your Wisconsin state taxes as well. If you only need an extension on your state taxes, you will need to complete the Form 4868.http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4868.pdf
To receive your extension, you have two options: You can either attach a statement to your Wisconsin state tax return stating that you want to use the Federal Form 4868 extension provision or you can attach a paper copy of Form 4868. If you include the paper copy, you only need to complete the sections for name, address and signature.http://www.revenue.wi.gov/faqs/pcs/extensn.html
The state tax extension gives you additional time to file your return, but it does not give you additional time to pay your balance due. If you do not pay any taxes owed before this date, you will be assessed late penalties and interest on the amount you owe until the balance is paid in full. To avoid this, enclose a check or money order for your balance along with your extension paperwork before April 18, 2011.http://www.revenue.wi.gov/faqs/pcs/extensn.html
Once you file your extension, you will want to begin working on filing your return immediately. This is especially true if you are due a refund, so that you do not have to wait a long time to receive your money. If you need assistance preparing your return, consult a tax professional.
Step 3: File Your Extension and Make a Payment, If Necessary
Wisconsin income tax extensions are notices that inform the Department of Revenue that you will be filing a return after the initial deadline. For the 2010 tax year, the initial filing deadline is April 18, 2011. The extended deadline is October 18, 2011, for approved extension requests. Filing an extension helps you to remain in compliance with the Wisconsin state tax law. If you have a balance due, then, you will not have to pay the additional penalty for late filing.http://www.revenue.wi.gov/faqs/pcs/extensn.html
Extensions should only be filed by individuals who have legitimate reasons for being unable to file a return by the due time. Examples of valid situations include being unable to obtain necessary tax documents, such as wage statements, or having difficulty locating receipts for deductions. The extension will give someone in these situations additional time to procure these important documents.http://www.revenue.wi.gov/faqs/ise/estate.html#estate4