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How To File a Tax Extension with Form 4868
Randall Brody --  U.S. Expat Tax Services For Americans Abroad Randall Brody -- U.S. Expat Tax Services For Americans Abroad
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, May 2, 2024

Tax extension. Folder with documents and clock.

If you’re having trouble meeting the tax filing deadline, you can fill out Form 4868 to ask for an extension. This form lets you push back your federal income tax return deadline until October 15. You must send in your request by the tax deadline, which is usually April 15 for taxpayers in the U.S. and June 15 for U.S. expats living abroad.  The IRS won’t accept any requests after these dates.

On average, 10% to 15% of taxpayers file Form 4868 annually.  While a tax extension provides more time for filing returns, it doesn’t extend the time for paying tax liabilities. It means the IRS can impose late payment penalties if you don’t pay your tax due by the original tax deadline. If you can’t pay in full, you must cover at least 90% of your estimated tax to avoid penalty.

If you’re not ready to file by the deadline, here’s a guide on everything you need to know about filing an extension, including how to file, why you might need one, and the different ways to submit your request. 

Who Can File a Tax Extension?

Any taxpayers who can’t meet the tax deadline can request more time to file from the IRS. There are different reasons why you might require a tax extension. Common ones include:

  • You have incomplete tax information.

If you’re still waiting for some documents, such as your W-2, 1099 form, or K-1, it would make sense to request an extension. You have to be accurate in your tax reporting. Otherwise, you would have to amend your return, which would require additional time and money. The IRS may also impose a penalty for negligence, which is 20% of the understated tax.

  • You have a complex tax situation.

If you have multiple sources of income, diverse investments, or multi-state taxation, you should take your time with your reporting. Aside from ensuring accuracy, the extension helps ensure that you claim all available credits and deductions for which you’re eligible.

  • You’re dealing with unexpected events.

Life happens sometimes. Maybe you recently changed jobs, dealt with an illness, or experienced an unexpected disaster such as a fire. An extension can provide much-needed time to focus on those priorities while ensuring you meet your tax filing obligation

How to Request an Extension

Completing the extension request form is easy and only needs a few details. In Part 1, you need to provide your identification info, like your name, address, and both your and your spouse’s social security numbers. In Part II, you need to give your individual income tax details, such as your estimated total liability, the total payment you’ve already made, your balance due, and the amount you’re paying.

There are three ways to file your request:

  1. Online On The IRS Website or Through Your Tax Firm

This is the quickest and most convenient option. The IRS offers a free file service that allows you to request an extension through its website electronically. Several tax preparation software programs also offer an extension filing option within their software. If you’re working with a tax firm, they can also electronically request your extension.

  1. By mail

You can download and fill out Form 4868 and mail the completed form to the IRS address designated for your state. Be sure to get proof of mailing (certified mail with return receipt requested) and ensure it’s postmarked by April 15th.

  1. Pay Online with Extension

If you owe taxes, you can pay electronically through different options, like the IRS Direct Pay or Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, and select the checkbox indicating you are filing for an extension. This method automatically files an extension for you without having to fill out the extension form

What to Expect Next

If you submitted Form 4868 electronically, you should receive a confirmation email within 48 hours, letting you know the IRS received your request. For mailed extensions, you won’t get any confirmation. The IRS typically won’t contact you unless they reject your request. So, if you don’t hear from them, your extension request will probably be approved. 

If the IRS denies your request, it’s often for simple reasons like typos or wrong info. In that case, just fix the mistake on the form and send it again.

An extension gives you more time to file your taxes and brings you peace of mind. With the extra time, you can carefully prepare and review your tax return, ensuring it’s done correctly. This helps you avoid penalties for late filing and reduces the chance of mistakes due to rushing.

If you haven’t filed your return yet and need assistance, contact Tax Samaritan at 775-305-1040 for a free, no-obligation consultation meeting. We can extend your taxes and prepare them accurately. 

With us, you get the highest level of peace of mind about your taxes. We guarantee our work, and we won’t nickel-and-dime you if you have questions, face an unusual situation, or even if the IRS audits you (no matter the reason).

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Randall Brody
Title: Founder/CEO, Expat Tax Expert, Tax Resolution Expert
Group: Tax Samaritan
Dateline: North Las Vegas, NV United States
Direct Phone: 775-305-1040
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