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How To Request A Tax Extension

Triston Martin

Feb 11, 2024

Submitting the appropriate form to the Internal Revenue Service will grant you a six-month filing extension if you need it because of a lack of time, school, travel, a family emergency, or disorganization. There's a due date for it, too, but fortunately, it's not as difficult as you might imagine securing a postponement. 2 Dates, forms, and any applicable exceptions are detailed below.

Form 4868, Tax Extention Request

Individuals needing more time to file their tax returns may submit Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extra Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return. Tax returns with extensions must be submitted by the due date. If April 15 comes on a weekend, the following business day is usually used. You may quickly and for no cost request an extension either online or on paper.

Your personal information and your income tax data will be required. Suppose you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien working abroad and must file a U.S. income tax return because you earned money from U.S. sources or conducted business while you were here. In that case, you can choose the appropriate option.

Make An Online Tax Extension Request

If you use the IRS e-file, you may electronically submit your tax documents, including Form 4868, to the IRS. By completing Form 4868 electronically through IRS e-file, either by using free or commercial tax software or with the assistance of a tax professional who utilizes e-file, you can automatically obtain a six-month extension of time within which to submit your tax return.

At the very least, you will have a receipt for your records. Free Submit is a program that helps people prepare and electronically file their federal income tax returns at no cost, provided their adjusted gross income is below a certain threshold; this threshold is $73,000 for 2021. You can utilize the IRS Fillable Forms tool if your income is high enough. 12 Some tax preparation software providers even let you file for free if you meet specific requirements.

Apply For A Tax Extension By Mail

The paper version of Form 4868 is also acceptable for filing. The form is available for download from the IRS website, or you may complete an online purchase form to have a paper copy delivered to you. 13 You can also purchase a form by phone by calling the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-3676. 14 The post office or library near you could also have a copy. Importantly, if you are a taxpayer who uses a fiscal year, you may only submit Form 4868 in paper format.

Not More Time to Pay, But More Time to File

You can get additional time to file by submitting Form 4868, but you won't get more time to pay. Even if the IRS gives you a grace period to file your taxes, you'll still need to pay what you owe by the original deadline. Suppose you anticipate having a tax liability upon filing your return.

In that case, you should calculate this by adding your estimated tax liability to any taxes you have previously paid. If you overestimated your tax liability and paid more than necessary, you can expect a refund when you complete your return. If you estimate your tax bill too low, you might end up paying fines and interest.

Extensions of State Taxes

Tax extension regulations vary by state. Although certain jurisdictions grant automatic six-month extensions to all taxpayers, others require you to fill out a form on or before the original due date of your return.

If you live in one of the states that do not require you to submit a state income tax return or request an extension, you do not have to do either. Commercial tax preparation software or your state's tax authority's website will both be able to provide you with the appropriate form.

The state extension extends the deadline for filing your tax return, just as the federal extension does to pay your taxes. It's best to figure out what you owe and sends the payment as soon as possible.

Final Verdict

More time to collect your tax information, analyze it, prepare your return, and file it will help reduce stress and ensure accuracy. It's easy to ask for more time, and you don't have to give the IRS a reason.

The IRS often grants petitions automatically and will only get in touch if they deny yours. No copy of Form 4868 has to be included with your tax return as long as it is submitted before the extension deadline. 16 Pay any federal taxes due by April 15 and learn your state's rules for filing state income tax forms.

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