How Do I Get an Extension on Taxes?
If you're unable to complete your federal tax return by the deadline, find out how to get an IRS extension on your taxes and extend your tax filing deadline until October.
• If you’re unable to complete your tax return by the April 15 deadline (or later, if the 15th falls on a holiday or weekend), file Form 4868 by the deadline to obtain an extension to file your return.
• You aren’t required to explain why you need the extension. With the extension, you’ll have until October 15 (again, barring weekends or holidays) to file your federal tax return.
• Be sure to estimate the taxes you will owe and include a payment with your Form 4868. You can use the TurboTax TaxCaster calculator to get an estimate of what you will owe.
• Filing Form 4868 provides you with an extension of time to file, but you still must pay 100% of the tax you owe by the original filing deadline to avoid interest and late-payment penalties.
Your personal income taxes are (almost) always due on April 15, unless the 15th falls on a holiday or weekend. If you are having trouble meeting this deadline, you can submit a short form and obtain an extension of time to file.
The IRS offers the extension, regardless of your reasons for needing it. So if you simply forget about the deadline, it's irrelevant. This extension gives you extra time—until Oct. 15 (again, barring weekends or holidays) — to file your federal tax return.
Step 1: Estimate taxes owed
Estimate the amount of taxes you will owe for the year. Simply subtract the total tax withheld from your paycheck and your estimated tax payments from the amount of tax you owe.
Before estimating your tax liability, be sure to reduce your income by all exemptions and deductions you anticipate claiming. You can then estimate the tax you owe by using the tax tables in the instructions to your tax return.
- If you plan on using a tax credit, don't forget to reduce the tax you owe by the credit.
- If you still owe tax, it's wise to include a payment when requesting the extension.
- If you pay too little, you may owe interest and penalties.
You can also use TurboTax to find out how much you’ll owe, or use our TaxCaster calculator to get an estimate.
Step 2: Download Form 4868
Completing Form 4868 allows you to obtain the extension to file your return. You can access a copy of the form on the TurboTax website and fill it out in a matter of minutes. If you make an estimated tax payment with a credit or debit card by April 15 (or extended date due to a holiday or weekend), your extension is granted without having to file Form 4868.
TurboTax Tip: When estimating your tax liability, be sure to reduce your income by all exemptions and deductions you anticipate claiming. If you plan on using a tax credit, don't forget to reduce the tax you owe by the amount of the credit.
Step 3: Complete Form 4868
The application for an automatic extension of time requires minimal information. All you need to include is your name, address and Social Security number. If you're not making an estimated tax payment by credit or debit card, then you can include a check made out to the U.S. Treasury.
Step 4: Mail the form
Mail the Form 4868 to the appropriate IRS address for your geographic area listed in the instructions. The most important step is to ensure you mail the form by the original due date of your tax return.
Using TurboTax Easy Extension to file a tax extension
TurboTax EasyExtension is a simple, online tool that allows you to file a tax extension in minutes. Try it here.
Heads up - filing Form 4868 only provides you with an extension of time to file. You must still pay 100% of the tax you owe by the original filing deadline to avoid interest and late-payment penalties.
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