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 1040 instructions for the line item on your 1040 or 1040-SR called Tax. The instructions ask "Do you want the IRS to figure your tax for you?" If you say Yes, you are directed to read chapter 28 of Pub. 17 for details.

So what does Pub 17 say? It says on page 198:

If you file by April 15, 20XX, you can have the IRS figure your tax for you on Form Form 1040 or 1040-SR. 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 balance. 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 return, 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 an extra 30 days.

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