If you are unable to file your tax return by the due date, you may request an extension of up to six months, The IRS Topic No. 304” says. Filing an extension is a legal option and it will not have any negative impact on your chance of obtaining a green card. You can file an extension using one of the following three methods:
- Make an payment using IRS Direct Pay.
- E-file Form 4868 with a payment electronically.
- File a paper Form 4868 with a check.
Please note that while an extension by itself eliminates the bigger “fail to file” penalty, it does not extend the time to pay. The “fail to pay” penalty will still apply, and interest will accumulate on any unpaid amount. Therefore, it is important to make sufficient payment with the extension to avoid penalties. You can always get back any overpayment when you file your return.
Now, the question is how to determine the amount you owe. To answer this question, I created a Google sheets document, Simply plug in your numbers, and boom, you will get your answer.
Instruction to use the spreadsheet:
- Click the link.
- Click File of the Google sheets (not of the browser). If “File” is hidden, click the down arrow (v) to bring it up.
- Select “Make a copy”.
- Edit the “Name”.
- Select “Folder” where to be copied.
- Use the copy.
Once you know the amount, you can click the IRS Direct Pay to make an extension payment. The screen looks like the following, please select “Extention”, and current year.
If you are sure you do not owe taxes, the IRS has this to say in its document:
There is no penalty for failure to file if you are due a refund. However, you cannot obtain a refund without filing a tax return. If you wait too long to file, you may risk losing the refund altogether. In cases where a return is not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund.
In other words, an extension to file taxes is not necessary when you are due a refund and do not owe any additional taxes. If you file your tax return after the regular filing deadline, you will not be charged any penalties or interest if you are due a refund. However, it is still a good idea to file your return as soon as possible to ensure you receive your refund in a timely manner. In some cases, you may need to file for an extension to protect your rights, such as when you need to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or make contributions to a retirement account.
State taxes can be estimated similarly to federal taxes, but you should check the tax laws in your state. I do not have a spreadsheet for each state, but you can estimate the state tax owed by multiplying your state income by the highest state rate minus the tax you have already paid.
For your convenience, a table of tax authorities including the United States, District of Columbia, and the 50 states, their highest tax rate, and payment address is provided below:
|Tax authority||Highest Rate||Payment URL|
|District of Columbia||8.95%||https://otr.cfo.dc.gov/page/payments|
|South Dakota||No state tax||N/A|
|Texas||No state tax||N/A|
|Washington||No state tax||N/A|
|Wyoming||No state tax||N/A|