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How Do I Get an Extension on Taxes?

Updated for Tax Year 2016


OVERVIEW

Find out how to file a Federal tax extension and extend your filing deadline until October.


Overview

Your personal income taxes are 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 an extra six months — 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 six-month extension of time 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, your extension is granted without having to file Form 4868.

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 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.

Things you'll need
• Form 4868

Heads up
• Filing Form 4868 only provides you with an extension of time to file. You must still pay 100 percent of the tax you owe by the original April 15 deadline to avoid interest and late-payment penalties.
 

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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.


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