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BOISE — If you can’t file your 2017 Idaho income tax return by today’s due date, you may be able to get an automatic six-month extension if you pay enough of your total tax.

To qualify, you need to pay an estimated 80 percent of the tax you owe for 2017 or 100 percent of the total tax reported on your 2016 return. You must make your payment by today.

An automatic extension means you don’t have to file a written request, but it isn’t an extension of time to pay your tax. With a valid extension, you can avoid a penalty for filing late. You’ll be charged four percent interest annually on the remaining tax until it’s paid.

To see if you qualify, complete the worksheet on Idaho Form 51, Estimated Payment of Idaho Individual Income Tax, found at tax.idaho.gov and in the 2017 Idaho income tax packet. The worksheet will help you figure out if you owe more tax beyond the payments you may have made or the amounts that may have been withheld from your paychecks or unemployment checks.

To make a payment and avoid a penalty:

  • Mail Form 51 with your check or money order.
  • Make an online payment through the Idaho State Tax Commission website — see the “E-pay” page at tax.idaho.gov/epay. This free quick-pay service lets you make an online payment without creating an account.
  • Make a payment at any tax commission office.

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If you qualify for an extension to file, your Idaho return and any extra tax payment must be postmarked by Oct. 15.

For more information, call the tax commission at 800-972-7660 toll-free or 208-334-7660 in the Boise area.

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