The April 15 tax-filing deadline is fast approaching. Some taxpayers may find that they need more time to file their tax returns. If you need extra time, you can get an automatic six-month extension from the IRS.
Here are five important things you need to know about filing an extension:
1. Extra time to file is not extra time to pay. You may request an extension of time to file your federal tax return to get an extra six months to file, until Oct. 15. Although an extension will give you an extra six months to get your tax return to the IRS, it does not extend the time you have to pay any tax you owe. You will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April 15 deadline. You may also owe a penalty for failing to pay on time.
2. File on time even if you can’t pay. If you complete your return but you can’t pay the full amount due, do not request an extension. File your return on time and pay as much as you can. You should pay the balance as soon as possible to minimize penalty and interest charges. If you need more time to pay, you can apply for a payment plan using the Online Payment Agreement tool on IRS.gov. You can also send Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, with your return. If you are unable to make payments because of a financial hardship, the IRS will work with you. Call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to discuss your options.
3. Use Free File to request an extension. Everyone can use IRS Free File to e-file their extension request. Free File is available exclusively through the IRS.gov website. You must e-file the request by midnight on April 15. If you e-file your extension request, the IRS will acknowledge receipt of your request.
4. Use Form 4868 if you file a paper form. You can request an extension of time to file by submitting Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. You must submit this form to the IRS by April 15. Form 4868 is available on IRS.gov.
5. Electronic funds withdrawal. If you e-file an extension request, you can also pay any balance due by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal from a checking or savings account. To do this you will need your bank routing and account numbers.