Does it sound strange that I choose the pay-by-credit-card option with the understanding that a convenience fee is in effect? Earlier in this tax season, I wrote a post about it ("Pay My Tax By Credit Card"). In short, I am counting on 5% rebate from my Citi Driver's Edge card to more than offset the 2.49% convenience fee I will be charged. All in all, for every $1,000 payment, I am going to pocket $25.10 -- not bad.
Even if you are against the idea of paying tax by credit card, or you don't owe any tax to Uncle Sam, you can still pay a nominal $1 via this service to get an automatic extension. The total cost will be the $1 minimal convenience fee charge, and it is much better (and safer) than paying $19.95 to an unknown third-party site to get your extension, or call your tax pro to accomplish the same goal.
Here is the strategy guide for paying your 2004 tax due and getting an automatic extension at Pay1040.com, one of the two authorized service provider for this business:
1. Start at the homepage of Pay1040.com.
2. Click "Make a Payment" link at the right-hand side.
3. You will be presented with a number of options. Filling in the following information and click "Continue":
- Select "Tax Year 2004 Form 4868 Automatic Extension of Time to File a Return" (Option #2).
- Specify the amount you want to pay. (I put $1,500 -- it is a bit higher than what I expect to owe, but you know my incentive :-)
- Choose your filing location. (I chose "I Reside Within the United States".)
4. The next screen breaks out the convenience fee you will be assessed. It is 2.49% of your payment, which is $37.35 in my case. ($1,500 * 2.49% = $37.35.) Click "Accept" to continue.
5. Now you have a long form, in which you need to fill in:
- Your estimated tax liability (Better put the same amount as you elect to pay for on the last screen.)
- Social security number(s) (Two SSNs if you are married and filing jointly.)
- Name, address, phone number and email address
- Credit card information
Click "Continue" to move on.
6. Next you have the confirmation page. Read it through, and if everything looks good to you, click "Continue" to fire.
7. Now you have your receipt. Save or print it for your record. If you provided an email address in prior screens, an email receipt will be sent to your mailbox.
Really nice and easy, isn't it? If you are still struggling to complete your tax return and also want to balance other lifetime priorities, give it a try.
Part 1. Why do I need to file an extension?
Part 2. Available options to request an extension.