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Filing A Income Tax Extension

Procrastination is generally my excuse for filing an income tax extension and I will admit I do it every year. Some taxpayers get excited about tax season since they know that Uncle Sam is going to give them a big refund to spend.

I'm not in  that category since I am self employed and pay my quarterly payments.

Because of this I pretty much know there's no surprise package of cash waiting for me, therefore procrastination takes place from the lack of excitement for preparing my income tax return.

It's quick and easy to file an income tax extension online

Before we file a tax extension we need to understand what it does and does not do. By filing an extension we are asking the Internal Revenue Service for more time to file a federal income tax return.

The standard deadline for filing a tax return is April 15. Extension Form 4868 is what is used to apply for an extend the deadline that will grant you an additional six months to file your return.

With a tax extension, your extended deadline to file a tax return becomes October 15.

Warning! An income tax extension grants you more time to file your return but it does NOT provide you with additional time to pay any taxes that you may still owe.

Any tax amount still owed must be paid by the standard April 15 due date to avoid late payment charges. Payments made after April 15th are subject to interest charges on the balance owed.

For information about filing a state tax extension, use this directory to locate the link to the department of revenue for your state tax extension filing.

Filing a tax extension can be done in just a few minutes

Here is how to request an automatic extension of time to file a U.S. individual income tax return and extend your tax return due date until October 15th.

  1. Prepare and file Form 4868 and pay all or part of your estimated taxes due
  2. Prepare and file Form 4868 electronically by accessing IRS e-file using your home computer or by using a tax service that uses e-file
  3. Prepare and file (pdf) paper Form 4868.

Here's how to file a income tax extension:

  1. Use a tax calculator to estimate your income tax liability so that you can get a ball park figure on whether you are due a refund or if you owe additional taxes.
  2. Use the tax extension service here or download (pdf) Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
  3. Properly prepare the form for submittal.
  4. If you used the tax calculator and found out that you still owe additional taxes, make a check for the approximate amount of money you owe.
  5. If you used the online service button above to file your extension you will submit it electronically along with any tax payment still owed. Otherwise, mail the pdf tax extension form you completed along with with your check made out to the United States Treasury.
  6. Make sure you submit your extension form and any payment still owed by April 15th to avoid penalty and interest charges. A list of mailing addresses for sending Form 4868 to the IRS can be found on Form 4868.
  7. It's generally a good idea when mailing your extension form to send it by certified mail with return receipt requested. This provides proof that you mailed your extension on the proper date and that the IRS received your form.
  8. If you file your income tax extension online, make sure you e-file your extension before midnight on April 15. File a little early (20 minutes or so) to allow extra time for the electronic transaction to be completed.

IRS Income Tax Extension Tips

  • Pay your tax in full by April 15th to avoid penalty and interest charges on the outstanding balance. The penalty for not filing is 5% per month up to a maximum penalty of 25% of the balance due.
  • You can submit tax payments due using the IRS web site Direct Pay service.
  • You can also file your extension using tax preparation software.

Tax laws relating to income tax extensions:

  • Internal Revenue Code section 6081
  • Treasury Regulations section 1.6081-4