If you owe money on your 2011 taxes, there are a few options if you are unable to pay everything upfront.  Below are ten things the Internal Revenue Service wants you to keep in mind if you need to file a tax extension.

1. Even if you cannot pay in full, try to pay as much as you can right now.  Whether you can pay $1,000 or even $5, that should be a few cents less when it comes to interest and penalties.

2. Taxpayers can file for a formal tax extension, initiate installment payments or ask for a temporary delay.

3. You must take action as soon as your taxes are filed.  If the bill seems too high, call the IRS immediately. 

4. You might want to get a loan to handle any liabilities for your 2011 taxes.   Interest rates for these loans are usually lower than the interest rate associated with IRS penalties.

5. Some taxpayers might qualify for a delay of approximately 120 days.  You do not have to pay anything to utilize this option, but you still have to file for it.

6. You can also pay your 2011 taxes in installments.  After you pay $105, (or $52 if you utilize Direct Debit), you have the freedom to make timed payments on your IRS bill.  In that way, your bill becomes like a credit card payment.

7. To apply for installment payments, you have complete Form 9465.  You can do this from the IRS website or call them for a printed form.

8. Sometimes there are situations where taxpayers can initiate a compromise with the IRS.  If they believe the debt cannot be paid, the IRS will initiate an alternative arrangement.   For example, they might agree on a settlement, where the taxpayer becomes responsible for only a small portion of the amount owed.  The rest would be written off.

9. The IRS can file a tax lien even if taxpayers agree to an installment arrangement.

10. Again, do not ignore the IRS.  If you fail to take action, the IRS can initiate collections on their behalf.  You could suffer wage garnishments, liens and even jail time for not paying your taxes.  So, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, contact the IRS and find a way to work through your situation.  More than likely, you will get a tax extension with no further questions asked, as the IRS will appreciate you handling the situation before it got out of control.