If you are unable to file your taxes on time, you can ask the IRS for an extension. It’s easy and can be done online. For people who are busy, run businesses or have complex tax returns, extensions are an easy way to buy time to file taxes.
The form you need to fill out to file an extension is IRS Form 4868. The good news is that the IRS will not ask you the reason for requesting an extension. IRS will only contact you if your request for extension is denied. Data shows that IRS approves 97% of extensions.
In order to get the extension, you will need to estimate your taxes for the prior year, enter your total liability and file the extension by April 15.
The extension will give you six extra months to file returns – you can file your returns by October 15 instead of April 15. Remember that the extension is only to file taxes. If you owe any taxes, you must still pay the taxes by the original due date. Otherwise, the IRS will assess late payment penalty and interest charges.
How You Can File Extensions For Free
Free E-file at IRS.gov
IRS Free File website allows you to e-file your extension for free. The forms are easy to fill out and can be completed online. The IRS Free File website allows people who make less than $69,000 of adjusted gross income to file taxes for free, but anyone – even people with income over that threshold can use this website to file an extension for free.
Use Tax Software
Whether you use tax software such as H&R Block or TurboTax, or an online tax preparation website such as TaxAct, you can use the same software or service to file an extension. One benefit of using your usual program is that it keeps all your tax data in one place and keeps everything organized.
FreeTaxUSA allows you to file Form 4868 online for free. There is a dedicated link in their primary menu for extension requests.
At TaxACT.com, you can file federal tax extension for free. You don’t need to use them later when it is time to file taxes although you can use them to file taxes as well.
Overseas Tax Payers and Military Members
If you live overseas, you automatically get two additional months to file taxes. If you need more time, you can file for an extension.
Some military members also automatically get extra time to file taxes depending on where they are posted and what they are involved in.
People affected by natural disasters also automatically get more time to file taxes. Check the IRS website for a list of qualifying disasters.
If you need additional time to file taxes, you can easily file for an extension directly through the IRS Free File website or by using tax programs. You will still need to pay your taxes by the due date but the extension gives you additional time. This will particularly help people who run businesses or those who have complex tax returns.