There is a standard misconception about filing an extension for your federal income tax return that it extends the time to pay a balance due. This is not correct, the extension will prevent any late filing penalties. However the interest will be charged from the original due date of the tax return. So if you have all of your information and you owe, it is better to file the tax return and make arrangements to pay the balance due. The purpose of the extension is for taxpayers who do not have all of the documents necessary to complete an accurate tax return. These taxpayers should file the extension and estimate the taxes they may owe. To avoid interest on a balance due, they should make the payment of the estimated balance due at the time they file the extension.