Filing an Income Tax Extension

Updated for Tax Year 2017


OVERVIEW

If you aren't able to complete your federal tax return by the April deadline, find out how and when to file for an IRS extension with these tips from TurboTax.


Need more time to file your 2017 tax return?

 

income tax extension

Before filing for an IRS tax extension, make sure it’s right for you. Here are a few common reasons why you may need to push your deadline back:

• More time needed to track down missing tax documents
• Unexpected life event
• Life’s been too busy

If you find yourself unable to complete your 2017 federal tax return by the April deadline (April 17 in 2018 for filng 2017 taxes), you’ll first need to file an extension with the IRS to avoid any potential late-filing or late payment penalties. Filing an extension will allow you to push your deadline back six months to October 15, 2018.

It’s important to keep in mind an extension only pushes back the due date for the filing of your tax documents. It does not give you extra time to pay on any taxes you may owe. If you believe you will owe money this year, you’ll need to estimate the amount after filing for an extension and make a payment by the April deadline.

Easy options for filing an extension

Option 1: E-file your federal tax extension in minutes with TurboTax Easy Extension

Using TurboTax Easy Extension, you can:
• E-file your federal extension
• Make a payment of any tax due directly from your checking or savings account
• Print a PDF copy of your e-filed extension
• Receive notifications when your extension has been accepted by the IRS
• Get easy instructions on how to file a state extension by mail

Note: Once your extension is approved, you’ll have until October 15, 2018 to file your return. If you’re expecting a refund, it will not be processed until once you have completed your tax filing. If you think you owe, all estimated taxes will need to be paid to the IRS by April 17, 2018.

Option 2: Print and mail your completed IRS extension form

If you’d rather mail your extension directly to the IRS, simply refer to IRS Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, complete and print the form, and send it to the IRS address for your state.

If you owe federal taxes, include your estimated payment with your Form 4868 and mail it—postmarked by April 17, 2018 to avoid any penalties or interest. Then complete and file your return on or before October 15, 2018.

Do you need to request a state tax extension?

State tax extension guidelines vary. To see detailed information about state extension filing deadlines and mailing addresses, select your state of interest from this state tax authority's website.

Remember, TurboTax Easy Extension can help you access the tax forms you need to file your state extension by mail.

 

Need to use a credit card to pay taxes owed?

If you've e-filed or mailed Form 4868 and need to pay by credit card, you can use one of several IRS approved Electronic Payment Methods. You can pay with your credit card online or by phone. File your complete return by October 15, 2018.

Cautions
• If the IRS thinks your estimate of the amount of tax you owe is unreasonable, it may disallow your extension and assess a late-filing penalty.
• If you underestimate the amount of tax you owe, you'll have to pay interest on whatever amount you fail to pay by the April deadline (April 17 in 2018 for filng 2017 taxes).
• If you pay less than 90% of the tax you owe, you'll end up owing a penalty of 0.5% of the underpayment every month until you pay the remaining balance. For example, if you pay $600 on April 17, 2018, but discover when you complete your return that you really owe $1,000, you will owe 0.5% per month on the $400 that is overdue, or about $2 a month, until you pay the full amount owed.

 

If you live outside the United States

If you live outside the United States, you may be able to get an extension by filing IRS Form 2350: Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return if you believe you will qualify for special tax treatment. See IRS Publication 54: Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad to confirm if this form might help you.

 

Get every deduction you deserve

TurboTax Deluxe searches more than 350 tax deductions and credits so you get your maximum refund, guaranteed.

For only $59.99$39.99*
Start for Free

Looking for more information?

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.


Security is built into everything we do
Here's how
* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • TURBOTAX ONLINE/MOBILE

  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. Absolute Zero $0 federal (forms 1040EZ/1040A) + $0 state limited time offer only available with TurboTax Free Edition; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed Offer with TurboTax Self-Employed: To receive your complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed through 4/30/19, you must pay for your 2017 TurboTax Self-Employed return by 4/17/18 and sign-in and access your QuickBooks Self-Employed account via mobile app or at https://selfemployed.intuit.com/turbotax at least twice by 7/15/18. You will have the option of renewing your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription by 4/30/19 for another year at the then-current subscription rate. You may cancel your subscription at any time from within the QuickBooks Self-Employed billing section. See QuickBooks.com for price comparison. Offer not valid for existing QuickBooks Self-Employed subscribers already on a payment plan.
  • Pays for itself (TurboTax Self-Employed): Estimates based on deductible business expenses calculated at the self-employment tax income rate (15%) for tax year 2017. Actual results will vary based on your tax situation.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard data rates apply to download and use mobile app.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $X.XX Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • TurboTax Help and Support: Access to a TurboTax specialist is included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed and TurboTax Live; not included with Free Edition (but is available as an upgrade). TurboTax specialists are available to provide general customer help and support using the TurboTax product. SmartLook on-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
  • Tax Advice, Expert Review and TurboTax Live: Access to tax advice and Expert Review (the ability to have a Tax Expert review and/or sign your tax return) is included with TurboTax Live or as an upgrade from another version, and available through October 15, 2018. These services are provided only by credentialed CPAs, EAs or tax attorneys. State tax advice is free. Some tax topics or situations may not be included as part of this service, which shall be determined in the tax expert’s sole discretion. In the event your return is reviewed by a tax expert and requires a significant level of tax advice or actual preparation, the tax expert may be required to sign your return as the preparer at which point they will assume primary responsibility for the preparation of your return. Expert Review [and TurboTax Live] not available on the TurboTax mobile app or when using a web browser on your mobile phone. On-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
  • Tax Return Access and My Docs features: Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, TurboTax Live or with PLUS benefits. Access to all tax-related documents we have on file for you is available through 10/31/2019. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2016 TurboTax products.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • CompleteCheck: Covered under the TurboTax accurate calculations and maximum refund guarantees.
  • #1 rated online tax prep provider: Based on independent comparison of the best online tax software by TopTenReviews.com March 13, 2017.
  • Get tips based on your tax and credit data to help get you to where you want to be: Tax and credit data accessed upon your consent.
  • TURBOTAX CD/DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE

  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for e-filing state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $X.XX Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice. This benefit is available with TurboTax Federal products except TurboTax Business.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support vary by time of year.
  • About our credentialed tax experts: Live tax advice via phone is included with Premier and Home & Business; fees apply for Basic and Deluxe customers. State tax advice is free. Service, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice. Not available for TurboTax Business customers.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2016 TurboTax products.
  • Data Import: Imports financial data from participating companies; may require a free Intuit online account. Quicken and QuickBooks import not available with TurboTax installed on a Mac. Imports from Quicken (2016 and higher) and QuickBooks Desktop (2012 and higher); both Windows only. Quicken import not available for TurboTax Business. Quicken products provided by Quicken Inc., Quicken import subject to change.