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Need a tax extension? Here's how to get one

TAMPA (WFLA) - The deadline to file your taxes is April 17. If you haven't filed yet, experts say you need to file for an extension.

You can do that by filling out the IRS 4868 form.

So what is an extension? A tax extension gives you an additional six months to file your taxes.

"It will give you the time to get everything together, maximize your deductions and go ahead and file it and have it taken care of," said Byron Smith, a Shareholder at Gregory, Sharer & Stuart, CPAs.

Filing a tax extension is free. In most cases, an extension is automatically granted. 

Here's the most important point: A tax extension does not change the tax payment deadline. It only gives you more time to file your return. Any tax liability is still due by the April 17 deadline.

However, if you can't find a way to pay - file anyway.

"You still need to get an extension because if you don't and don't pay, the penalty is around 5 percent a month versus if you file the extension and pay later it is a half percent per month so that is a big difference," said Smith.


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