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How to File for an Extension of State Taxes

Updated for Tax Year 2019


OVERVIEW

While the IRS requires you to file Form 4868 to request a tax extension, each state has its own requirements for obtaining a similar extension.


UPDATE: The Treasury recently announced tax changes and updates in response to COVID-19. Updates include an extension until July 15, 2020 for all taxpayers that have a filing or payment deadline that normally falls on or after April 1, 2020 and before July 1, 2020. Please see the latest information on tax deadlines and stimulus updates related to COVID-19 on the TurboTax Coronavirus Tax Center and detailed information about federal and state tax changes on our Coronavirus blog post.


 

state tax extension

While the IRS requires you to file Form 4868 in order to request a tax extension, each state has its own requirements for obtaining a similar extension. Some states such as California offer automatic extensions to all taxpayers, while other states require you to file a specific form by the original due date of the return. Here are some tips to help walk you through what you need to do when filing state taxes in your area:

Step 1: Check-in with your state tax authority

Some states including Wisconsin, Alabama and California offer automatic extensions to file your state income tax return without having to file any additional forms. Other states, such as New York, will grant you a extension but you must request it. For the nine states that do not impose a state income tax, you don’t even have to file an income tax return, let alone request an extension. Reach out to your state tax authority to confirm which steps you will need to follow.

Step 2: File the appropriate state tax form

Unlike IRS Form 4868, which applies to all taxpayers throughout the country, you must file the correct state-specific form to obtain the extension. TurboTax also offers TurboTax Easy Extension, an online tool that allows you to file extensions for both your federal and state tax returns.

Step 3: Pay any estimated taxes by the original due date of the return

An extension of time to file your state income tax return does not also mean an extension to pay any taxes you may owe. If you end up owing owe tax at the end of the year, you may be subject to late-payment penalties if you fail to submit a payment by the original tax deadline. To avoid paying any penalties, it’s a good idea to calculate a quick estimate of what you might owe and submit a payment. Even if you overpay, you can always claim a refund in a few months when you eventually file your state tax return.

To get help estimating your taxes, use TurboTax Online.

Step 4: Submit your return by the extension deadline

In most cases, your state tax return is due by October 15 after you file for an extension. However, if you fail to file a complete return by this date, your state may charge you penalties just for filing your return late.

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