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Tax day is here, but thousands will file for extensions


UNDATED (WSAU) -- It’s deadline day for filing taxes. Many people are still not ready to file taxes for a variety of reasons. Christopher Miller from the Internal Revenue Service says you should file by today if at all possible, but you can get more time.  “The other alternative, especially if someone is maybe just not able to get their paperwork together, or thinks that they’re going to owe money and doesn’t have the money to pay their tax bill, we encourage you to still file an extension because an extension gives you an automatic six months to get your return together.”

If you’re looking for more time to file taxes, Miller says you’re not alone.  “In Wisconsin, we’re expecting about 137,000 people will ask for an extension of time to file, so that helps if you’re having a problem in getting your paperwork together.”

Miller says the thing about getting an extension is it does not take away your liability for money owed, so if you believe you owe money but still need time for additional document gathering, you’ll save money by paying now.  “Even if you’re getting an extension, figure out how much you owe, and pay that before the 15th passes to avoid any further interest and penalties. If you’re one of those people that says, well, I’d like to but I just don’t have the money, then contact the IRS as soon as possible and set up an alternative plan like an installment plan.”

Miller says there are several free software options at irs.gov to help you prepare your own taxes. If you get started and find you need more documents or materials, you can save your work and come back to finish it later.

(Listen to our interview with Christopher Miller from the IRS on our website, here.)