Filing Income Tax Extension

Filing Income Tax Extension

Filing Income Tax Extension


Even though we know the billing date or due date for credit card payment or phone bill payment we at times miss the same. Though we are not being negligent regarding it, we tend to miss them amidst all the work and chaos in life. The same applies to tax filing as well. We all are aware that come spring, we need to file our taxes. But that never ending project, deadlines for meeting customer requirements, the problem at home, or just plain old Forgot can be the most common reasons for missing filing of tax returns.

Fortunately, IRS understands the same and has a provision in place for such situations. Unlike paying bills, the filing of tax can be a bit time consuming. So if it is already mid of April and you suddenly wake up to realize you are nowhere close to filing income tax returns, just don’t worry. All that you need to do is fill up the Form 4868 and file it.

This then enables you for an automatic extension of six months to finish up with the filing of your tax returns.

All that you need to know about Form 4868 and its filing is below.

What is it?

Filing a Form 4868 provides you with a six month extension for filing your tax returns. Given the fact that the last date for filing tax returns is April 15th, the extended date usually works out to be the 15th of October. However, you might get a few additional days if 15th April is a public holiday or weekend.

In order to benefit from the extension of tax return filing, it is crucial that you fill up the Form 4868 and file it on or before the due date of April 15th.

Details needed for Form 4868

Unlike most other things related to the filing of taxes and tax returns, Form 4868 can be a sign of relief with its simplicity. IRS asks for the following details:

  • Name of individual (spouse name also if married filing jointly)
  • Current address
  • Social security number
  • Estimated tax liability for the year in question
  • Sum total of all payments you have made towards the tax you owe
  • Outstanding tax amount

How to file Form 4868?

You can simply log on to the website of IRS and e-file your extension. On successful receipt of the same, IRS will send you back an acknowledgment. You can use this acknowledgment as a reference in the future, should there be a need for one.

IRS provides an online gateway for paying part of your remaining taxes or the complete amount through its website, specifically IRS Direct Pay.

You can also use your debit card or credit card to pay for the taxes, again by accessing the IRS website. There are provisions for payment over the phone, but that comes with some additional charges. For people who are not all that tech savvy, you can go the old-school way as well. Take a print out of the filled up form and send it across to the IRS center as per your area or region.

You do need to keep in mind that with the extension, IRS doesn’t give you more time to pay your taxes. You will still end up paying fines and penalties for any outstanding amount by the due date. However, extension lets you cut down on the fines and penalties drastically. If it weren’t for the extension, one might end up paying about 10 times more money in fines and penalties. During the spring, if you have that eerie feeling that you cannot complete your tax returns on time, don’t shy away from filing an extension. It will not only allow you to extend the timeline for filing tax returns but also bring down the penalties and fines.

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