How to Extend Deadline for Taxes

As tax deadline approaches in the United States, some people may find they don't have time to submit everything by mid-April. The United States also allows a tax extension, to be filed by the normal tax deadline. This extension is often used by people who are out of the country during the tax deadline. Usually, this extension is for no more than 6 months, unless you are living abroad. If you haven't made the deadline, then you will need to file for an extension online, by mail or with help from your tax preparer. This article will tell you how to extend the deadline for taxes in the United States.


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    Decide if you need an extension to fill in the required income tax paperwork or if you cannot make the payment. If you can complete the forms, but cannot pay in full, you should complete your taxes and pay what you can.
    • If you submit your tax forms and a partial payment, you will receive a bill in the mail at a later date with the balance due. This will give you more time to collect the money before interest payments must be made.
    • Even if you request an income tax extension, you will be required to pay interest on payments you received after this date. You will also owe a late payment penalty, if you file an extension. It will be waived if you have paid at least 90 percent of your tax by the mid-April due date.
    • If you want to avoid interest and pay in installments, then go to the IRS website and click on "Apply for an Online Payment Agreement (OPA)," a program that creates an installment payment schedule for you. You must make less than $25,000 and meet other requirements.
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    Request or search the IRS website for Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return." You can also telephone 800-829-1040 to request Form 4868 or visit your local IRS office, if you do not have access to a computer.
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    Assemble your tax documents when you receive the form.
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    Fill out the extension form through 1 of the following methods:
    • Fill out the Form 6868 electronically using the IRS E-file system. If you make less than $58,000 per year, you should choose the Free-File option. You will need to fill in the following sections: identification, individual income tax, estimate of total tax liability for the Year, estimate of total payments for the year, balance due, the amount you are paying and an option if you were out of the country when the tax deadline arrived.
    • Fill out Form 6868 by hand and send it in the mail. Fill out the same information with black ink or on an editable document on the computer (and print it out).
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    Make a payment with your extension application. If you pay at least $1, you will receive an automatic extension of up to 6 months. Pay by phone, Internet or mail.
    • Pay with a credit or debit card through an private IRS e-pay alliance provider, such as TurboTax, File your Taxes or the Link2Gov Corporation. You can do this by phone or computer. The IRS website lists e-pay phone numbers and providers. Unlike normal tax payments, you cannot pay the government directly for your payments by phone. You will likely be charged interest by these companies of at least $1.25.
    • Pay by electronic withdrawal from either a savings or a checking account. File through your e-file or free-file computer software or call 1-800-829-1040. Have your Form 4868 and bank information on hand.
    • Pay by check or money order with your Form 4868 by mail. The payee should be written as, "United States Treasury." Write a phone number where you can be reached, your social security number and the words "Form 4868" on the top of your check.
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    Send your Form electronically or by mail. Look on page 4 of the document to find out the correct address to send your extension and payment by mail. There are different addresses for extension forms with or without payments.
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    Wait for acknowledgment of receipt of the extension via email, if you applied by computer. If you applied through the mail, you will not receive any acknowledgment until your extension deadline approaches.
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    Pay your taxes, plus any interest to the IRS within the next 6 months.


  • If you will be out of the country and not expected back until after the deadline, you can receive a 2 month extension without filing for it. However, you will owe 2 months of interest on your payment. You must apply for the extension to receive the additional 4 months.


  • Do not send cash to cover all or a portion of your tax payment.

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Categories: Taxes and Fees