Tax Extensions 101 from

Tax Extensions 101 from

This post is brought to you by, the easiest way to manage your business finances online.

Selling online is a job upon itself…obviously. But what makes even the most hardy ecom pros question their life’s work every now and then? Taxes, of course – especially if you can’t seem to get everything done on time.

One thing you not usually associated with the IRS, though, is ease of use and accommodation. However, if needed a little extra time to get your tax forms filled out is your major malfunction, you’re covered. The IRS has seen this problem time and time again and that’s why they allow for tax extensions.

A tax extension doesn’t just provide you with a few days or weeks, either – it’s good for six months. Even better, the vast majority of extensions are automatically granted, meaning you have very little work to do to get a little extra time for your income taxes!

How to File a Tax Extension

The form you need to file for a tax extension is Form 4868, otherwise known as the “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return.” You can print it from the link provided above or you can find it where you find other tax forms, such as your post office or library.

The form only has a few boxes for you to fill out. Simply enter your personal information like name, address, and social security number. Also be sure to include your spouse’s SSN if you’re filing together. Notice you don’t have to provide any explanation regarding filing for an extension. It’s none of the IRS’s business and they stay out of it!

Now, next to the personal info, you’ll see boxes to enter how much you owe. You may wonder how you’re supposed to tell them how much you owe before you’ve actually filled out your tax forms. However, all you have to do is give an estimate of how much you owe. (Try if you’re totally unsure.)

After Filing an Extension

There’s one caveat to filing a tax extension – you still owe your amount due by Tax Day, which is April 17th this year. In this case, if you send in an estimated payment after filing a tax extension, your payment more than likely isn’t going to be precisely, down-to-the-cent correct. After taking in deductions and other changes, you’ll either owe less or maybe even get a refund. In this case, upon filing within six months, you’ll send in more money or receive a check.

No matter your situation and why you filed for an extension, make sure to use this time properly. Get all your papers in order and go over every document you previously filled out.

Also, be sure you don’t delay too long! Sure an extension gives you an extra six months, but that deadline is not one to be missed. After that, the IRS is really going to start digging into your business like they didn’t before. So get everything done as soon as you possibly can after you’re granted more time.

Need to make tax time a little less taxing? Sign up for a free account today!

Seacoast eBay Sellers Group New Meetup

Seacoast eBay and eCommerce Sellers Group

The Roundabout Diner Lounge

580 US Hwy 1 Bypass The Portsmouth Traffic Circle Portsmouth, NH (map)


We will meet in the Private Room – See the Hostess for Location

Special Guest Laura Messerchmitt from Outright will give a tutorial on using this free eBay Application. Over 20,000 eBay sellers use Outright to organize their finances and stay prepared for taxes – FREE. In 2012, PayPal will be required to report online sales to the government, so it’s more important than ever to get your finances organized. Everyday, automatically, your PayPal, eBay, bank and credit card accounts are organized and all in one place. Outright imports up to 2 full years of sales history, listing and final value fees, even shipping and PayPal fees.

Did you know that Paypal is going to be sending 1099k forms to certain eBay sellers this year? Do you know what a 1099k form is? New tax laws this year are affecting eBay sellers. If you’re not careful, you could be seeing an increase in what you have to pay out. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! Come learn about these changes and get tips for getting your taxes prepared with as little hassle as possible.  Laura from Outright will be presenting what you need to know about how to get your taxes done. This session is intended for eBay sellers who want the basics without all the jargon – it’s not intended for advanced tax professionals.

$1.00 Donation per person

Learning the “Inside Baseball” of Online Retail by Cliff Ennico

Cliff EnnicoI had the honor last week of speaking on e-commerce legal and tax issues for the Kansas Jubilee eBay and eCommerce Conference at Fort Hays State University in beautiful Hays, Kansas (  This annual event brings together eBay, Amazon, Bonanzle and other online sellers throughout the midwest to compare notes and learn the latest online selling strategies.

Some of the attendees shared with me the important lessons about online selling they learned at the Hays conference.  Here they are, in their own words.

“When you are selling on eBay or Amazon, you have to remember that you are just the same as Dillard’s.  You have to act professionally, and give your customers the same quality experience they would get in a brick-and-mortar store.  If you are not prepared or disciplined enough to do that, do not sell online.”  Joseph “Uncle Joe” Adamson, eBay Certified Business Consultant and Education Specialist, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (

“The biggest challenge online sellers face is tracking their income and expenses and staying in compliance with taxes.  Small business owners have to spend way too much time on financials, often to the detriment of doing what they love – running their businesses!, an online accounting tool, can help these businesses thrive by making these tasks simple and easy.”  Jennifer Dunn Escalona, Community Manager,, Atlanta, Georgia.

“I learned that ‘microsites’ – websites that reach small, highly targeted communities of collectors – are often the best places to sell antiques and collectibles.”  Del Paeske, Keizer, Oregon (

“Seven years ago I sold books on eBay for five years.  I got burned out and abandoned my Seller ID and a 1,200 feedback score.  I now sell books on and after this weekend I want to sell on eBay again.”  Lucian Siedler, BRTCO-Amazon, Asheville, North Carolina.

“I learned that all of us have started at the same position on eBay, we’ve all been new at this once, and by networking and making mistakes and never giving up we can succeed.  Oh, and that you should always offer your customers ‘free shipping’ wherever possible.”  Jan Maughmer, Kansas City, Missouri.

“That a successful online business looks a lot like an octopus – you have the ‘head’ which is your own business website, the ‘tentacles’ which are your outposts on eBay, Amazon and elsewhere, and the ‘suckers” which are your Internet marketing tools driving customers to your website and outposts.  A very compelling metaphor!”  Lacy Bruggeman, Misslacyg’s Market of Miscellany, Hays, Kansas.

“If you don’t track your numbers, you will never really know if your way of doing business is profitable.”  Leanne Skrok, The Designer Family, Edmond, Oklahoma.

“The importance of getting a federal trademark if you have a really cool name for your business, and making sure to protect it if you see someone using the same name to sell similar stuff.”  Kim Everitt, WalkInAuction, Denver, Colorado.

“The things you need to do to avoid an IRS audit, and especially the tips on how to claim your pet as a tax-deductible ‘guard dog’!”.  Michelle Petersen, Happy Dog Deals, Osborn, Missouri.

“Learning about how to limit your liability for ‘ripple effect’ damages, so for example if I sell someone a dress on eBay, they wear it to a corporate function and there’s a wardrobe malfunction that causes the buyer to lose her job, I won’t be liable for anything other than the price she paid for the dress to begin with.”  Linda Wolff, L&P Enterprises LLC, Northglenn, Colorado.

“I’ve been selling on eBay for some time now, and it was very interesting to learn the details of selling on and other online platforms.”  Paula Hughes, Occasions2go, Kansas City, Missouri.

“How to search items on eBay to find out what they normally sell for, and also how to pick the right keywords for your listing titles and item descriptions so you can get your listings noticed by search engines.”  Dottie Caldwell, Solomon Valley Books, Russell, Kansas.

“Discovering the vast variety of products that can be marketed and sold. It has made me realize I too can build a small business doing something I love.  And, it’s shown me there is a possibility my business could someday turn into a larger one.  For someone just starting out that knowledge is invaluable.”  Rachel Lundy, Midnight Software, Kansas City, Missouri.

“Learning how to find inventory in thrift shops – the stuff that sells well on eBay, and the stuff you should pass on.  It was amazing to learn, for example, that teeshirts from little-known rock and roll bands often sell better on eBay than teeshirts showing the Rolling Stones or Beatles!”  Danni Ackerman, Udderly Good Stuff, Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The importance of having a great good accountant when you’re first starting out.”  Kat Simpson, Kat’s Boutique, Mount Plymouth, Florida.

“How others sell!”.  Karin Banghart, Glam-R-Us, Windsor, Colorado.

Cliff Ennico (, a leading expert on small business law and taxes, is the author of “Small Business Survival Guide,” “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” and 15 other books.

Great Infographic by Outright

commerce of christmas
Brought To By Accounting Software

Outright FREE Plan announced

Today Karen & I were privileged to interview the new CEO of (Accountingn Software for Small Business), Steve Aldrich. Follow Steve on Twitter.

Listen to the Interview TS-543976


Outright’s new announcement – they are now going to have both a FREE and a PAID version!

The current level of Outright account that current customers are using is being re-labeled as ‘Outright Plus’ and will continue to cost $9.95 per month.

New customers will sign up for the basic Outright plan, which will not include all the options available in the paid plan.

New customers will, however, have access to the Tax Functionality of the paid plan for the 2011 tax year. This is a bonus for those new users.

The basic service is intended for smaller, casual sellers, who don’t need all the functionality of the current Outright product. The new, Outright Plus product will include these three upgraded items that will not be in the free version:

  1. Tax functionality
  2. Unlimited history and reports
  3. Bonus support options
If you are currently using the paid version of Outright and think you belong on the free version, please contact Outright support.

Breaking News with Kevin Reeth of Outright

Breaking News with Kevin Reeth of

Breaking News from Outright – Import BOTH PayPal and eBay without Duplicates!

Great interview with Kevin Reeth, co-founder of Outright – put your accounting on autopilot.

Growing Your Business with Proper Accounting Procedures with Kevin Reeth

We had a great interview on April 18th with Kevin Reeth, co-founder of Outright, a fantastic accounting tool and eBay application.

Kevin ReethKevin is a web entrepreneur with a long track record of bringing new products and services to market. He practices a good balance of teaching/mentoring and hands-on execution. He has managed both large and small organizations, has experience launching web services, desktop software, email platforms and advertising server systems. Kevin has a strong background in user-centered research, interaction design techniques, product management and agile product development processes.


Outright.comKevin is the CEO and co-founder of, which is specifically designed for very small businesses – entrepreneurs, self employed folks, people who have to file a Schedule C. It helps you track your income and expenses so you can see how your business is doing and be organized at tax time. It helps you remember to pay estimated taxes on time and even imports invoice information from FreshBooks! Plus, it can be accessed over the web, which makes it perfect for anyone who is out and about while running their business.

Kevin gave us the most important tips for allowing your Good Accounting Practices to help you Grow Your Business!

Paul O’Brien Sharing Best SEO Practices For Our Blogs

Paul O'Brien This week on eCom Connections we’ll be interviewing Paul O’Brien AKA @SEOBRIEN Paul O'Brien

Paul O’Brien founded and practices Fractional Marketing, after recognizing too many businesses waste time and budgets, or neglect opportunity, in marketing.  Simply, the practice deals with marketing in easier to digest, smaller, segments; lowering risk while working in to what works.

We know him best as SEO’Brien, through his work with, where he was VP of Marketing, and their support of small businesses and the eBay community.

Most recently he’s worked for a number of startups, providing lean, efficient, and explosive marketing programs that help businesses get going.  One of the more fun startups is a relatively unknown company called IP Commerce which makes those iPhone credit card processors possible – you might know it better as the Square reader.

Before working with startups, and a reflection of his love for eCommerce, he ran online marketing for HP’s online store

Even dearer to our hearts, he got his start through a number of years at Yahoo working with Yahoo Shopping, Auctions, and other properties supporting online retailers.  Via twitter, facebook, and online, he’s SEOBrien

Outright Pricing Update

Over the last two years, Outright has continued to build our product to meet the needs of you, our small business customer.  We are committed to building the best, easiest to use online accounting solution on the web, and continue to invest our time and resources to improve our product to better meet your needs.

To support our investment, we’ve considered various business models and have decided that putting tons of ads in front of users isn’t the right way for us to cover our expenses.  As a result, we have made the decision to implement a paid subscription model for Outright.  New users are now charged $9.95 a month after a 30 day free trial.  Given that the average Outright customer spends 5 fewer hours a month on accounting than they used to, we believe that this represents a significant value and allows us to continue funding the enhancements that customers request.

So what does this mean for existing customers?

We’ve said before that you, and all of our existing customers, have been instrumental in helping us get here.  As such, we don’t want to ask you to pay for anything at this point. But the data automation, storage and ongoing feature development do cost real money.  So here’s what we’re planning:

All existing Outright customers may continue to use Outright for free through Dec 31, 2011.  That gives you about a year to continue to use Outright for free and determine for yourself if we provide enough functionality to make Outright worth the monthly cost.  It also guarantees that you can track your entire 2011 calendar year finances for tax purposes.  After Dec 31, we hope that the small (and tax-deductible) monthly fee will feel insignificant compared to the time savings and peace of mind that Outright provides.  If not, and you wish to move to another solution, you will be free to download your transaction history – we don’t believe in holding data hostage.

I want to personally thank each of you for your continued support and guidance as Outright builds the simplest way to keep track of your small business finances – we are committed to growing Outright with your help!



Co-founder and CEO

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