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Need to file a tax extension request? Here's how

Posted: 12:40 PM, Apr 18, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-18 14:03:45-04

Monday is the deadline to file your 2015 taxes or file for an extension, which buys you until mid-October.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, roughly 1/3 of the 3-million tax returns expected to be filed in the state this year were filed in the last two weeks of tax season.

To file for an extension, visit www.irs.gov. The Wisconsin DOR said filing for an extension with the IRS allows someone to automatically receive an extension on their state tax deadline as well.

Barry S. Sattell, CEO of Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co., S.C. Certified Public Accountants in Menomonee Falls, said if you’ve procrastinated and haven’t filed your taxes yet, asking for an extension is your best option.

“It’s automatic, it’s six months long and it buys you a lot of time,” he said.

“But if you owe any money you must pay it in, or at least pay an estimate, by midnight [Monday night],” Sattell said. “If not, you’ll have interest and you could also have penalties for underpayment.”

Sattell said those interest rates vary by state but typically range from 6% to 12%.

Sattell said his firm files taxes for the bulk of its 1,500 clients electronically. But he said the process is sometimes complicated by identity theft.

According to Sattell, he’s seen about 180 cases of identity theft this year. That’s up from 80 last spring.

“It’s a problem that’s almost doubling every year,” he said. 

“We go to file a return and immediately it’ll tell us through our vendor software that this tax return has already been filed,” Sattell said.

Sattell said, should someone file a return in your name, you’ll have to file by paper through the mail. He also said anyone impacted by identity theft has to verify their identity with the IRS.