Completing tax returns is boring and regarded as a necessary evil by most folks. For this reason, we are inclined to procrastinate until the very last minute. For many reasons, it is best to complete your taxes on time whenever possible. April is the dreaded month for most of us, and we usually turn to tax filing services or tools like Turbotax to get our returns completed promptly. Despite this, there can be a number of cases when it makes sense to utilize tax service as well as software such as Turbotax outside the regular season for filing taxes. We will discuss some of these cases in the paragraphs that follow.
There is no way to get around the fact that you will need to send out your tax payment prior to April 15th if you want to avoid penalties.. The good news is that as far as the tax return itself is concerned, you can take more time if you need to by filing for an extension. In fact, an extension will buy you six extra months to complete your tax return. If you want to do this, all you need to do is fill out Form 4868, for Automatic Extension on Time To File. Most software programs such as Turbotax will include the ability to file this form.
Amendments to your returns often become necessary, and this is yet an additional reason why you might use Turbotax after the filing period. Amendments are a great way to correct mistakes that you may have made. Other times, you just might realize you forgot to include something like an additional deduction you overlooked. And of course, there are times when you will receive corrected W-2 statements or receive 1099s late. Whatever the case may be, amendments are made all the time to tax returns. You can amend returns up to 3 years old. There are even some tax preparation services like HR block which will review your prior returns to see if you can amend them and get a bigger refund. Owners of Turbotax will not have to pay extra for amended returns, since amendments can be filed in Turbotax for free. You will not be able to e-file amended returns, so this means you must print out a copy and mail it the traditional way. If a refund is due, you should expect to wait 8-12 weeks before you receive it.
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