Your 2011 Federal and state tax returns are due on April 17, 2012. The traditional due date for income tax filings is April 15th each year, but since April 15th falls on a Sunday this year – and with a Federal holiday on April 16th – the tax filing deadline is 4/17/12.
If you cannot file your 2011 federal income tax return and/or your 2011 state income tax return on or before April 17th, 2012, you must request an income tax filing extension by that date.
If You are Granted a Tax Extension
For taxpayers who request an extension to file their federal and/or state tax returns, the last day to e-file 2011 federal tax returns is October 15th, 2012. You must request a tax extension prior to April 17th, 2012, as no e-filed requests for tax extensions will be accepted after this date.
Payment Due Dates for Tax Extensions
Obtaining a federal income tax filing extension will give you more time to e-file your tax return. However, you should understand that an extension does not give you additional time to pay any taxes that you owe. If you owe taxes and are granted a tax filing extension, your tax payment is still due on April 17th, 2012. If you do not pay your taxes on or before the tax due date, you will be charged penalties in additon to the money that you already owe.
Do not skip filing your taxes on time simply because you cannot afford to pay what you owe. The failure-to-file penalty is 5% of the total taxes that you owe per month, which is far more expensive than a failure-to-pay penalty of .5% per month.
That said, if you cannot afford to pay all of your taxes, be sure to send in as much as you can afford, because any penalties and fees that you incur will be based on the remaining balance owed and not the entire tax liability.