You Should Know This About Tax Filing Extensions

Tax Day is coming up soon. It's not being pushed back: The vast majority of Americans need to have gotten their act together by April 15.

If you still haven't gotten started, you're not alone. The New York Times reports that nearly 1 in every 10 taxpayers is expected to file a request for an extension this year. All kinds of tax professionals are still scrambling to figure out what does and doesn't work with the new tax code. If you're thinking that this is fine, that extensions at the IRS work the same as extensions for college papers, you may want to get a little busier. An extension for filing your taxes isn't actually an extension on paying your taxes.

As the Times puts it, "You must make your best estimate of what you owe and pay by the April deadline or face interest costs and penalties." Don't panic, though. If you're anxious you can't afford paying taxes, you've got options. If you're psyching yourself out over the forms, they've gotten a little simpler. If you're not sure which online tax prep software to use, there's one out there that's right for you (although unfortunately, you probably won't get to deduct the cost of those services).

Fear not. Watch out for hidden fees or costly add-ons, get familiar with the standard deduction, and avoid the temptation to just put it all on your credit card. Even if you don't have all your paperwork perfectly together, you can still swing this.