Reprieve for late filers… but hurry!

The race is on to get those taxes filed by midnight tonight. If you’re a procrastinator and can’t make the deadline or don’t have the money to pay what you owe, don’t just not file. You will face big penalties for not filing, especially for not paying taxes owed.

You can stay out of trouble with the IRS by filing for an extension. That’s Form 4868, Automatic Extension of Time to File, available at It’s free and easy.

But while an extension gives you until Oct. 15 to file, it’s not an extension of time to pay. The meter will be running, beginning today, charging you with interest on taxes owed plus non-payment penalties.

So if you owe taxes, estimate what you owe and pay TODAY. If you can’t pay it all, pay as much as you can. You will be charged 4 percent interest and a late payment penalty on unpaid taxes each month until the tax is paid.

If you owe less than $25,000, the IRS will likely work with you on a payment plan. You can reduce your penalty by setting up a monthly payment plan with Form 9465, Online Payment Agreement application, available at