How To Buy Time To Pay Taxes Without Penalty

I know this sounds too good to be true. And, for those taxpayers whose taxable income equals or exceeds $100,000, it is too good to be true. But if your income is under that threshold, read on.

Take a look at the instruction booklets that came with your tax returns. Turn to the page on paying your taxes. The instructions ask "Do you want the IRS to figure your tax for you?" If you say Yes, you are directed to read chapter 30 of Pub. 17 for details.

So what does Pub 17 say? It says:

If you file by April 15, 20XX, you can have the IRS figure your tax for you on Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or Form 1040. If the IRS figures your tax and you paid too much, you will receive a refund. If you did not pay enough, you will receive a bill for the bal- ance. To avoid interest or the penalty for late payment, you must pay the bill within 30 days of the date of the bill or by the due date for your re- turn, whichever is later. The IRS will also figure the credit for the elderly or the disabled and the earned income credit.

There are some eligibility rules, such as you can't itemize and you can't be using certain forms or schedules, but other than that, this is a great deal. IRS Pub 17 is available for reading online here or you can download it in Adobe PDF format here.

So go ahead, don't use those tax tables to figure your tax. Let the IRS do the arithmetic and get a free ride for a minimum of 30 days.

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