Extension for Taxes: How & Why to File for More Time


Extension for Taxes: The Quick Tips

extension irs helpIt is not always possible to file an IRS tax return before the April deadline. Not filing a tax return on time results in penalties and interest being added onto your tax bill. Fortunately, the IRS understands that it may take some taxpayers longer to send in a prepared tax return. This is why they let taxpayers file an extension for IRS tax return filing. This page will explain how filing an extension for IRS returns works.

Who Should File an Extension for IRS Returns

Do not file an extension for IRS returns if you are trying to put off paying a tax bill as long as possible. An extension for IRS returns is only used for late filing. You can request a 120-day short-term extension to pay, if you feel that you will be able to pay your tax debt in full in that time frame. If that isn't an option, file your tax return and look into other tax resolutions available. Consulting a tax debt professional is the best way to figure out what to do with a tax bill. Filing an extension for IRS returns is helpful for those who simply want to make sure that they send in a fully prepared and accurate tax return.

How to File an Extension for IRS Returns

To file an extension for IRS returns, you will need to obtain a Form 4868 and send it to the appropriate IRS mailing address before the April deadline for that tax year. You can find this address on the IRS website. Fill out the Form 4868 as follows:

  • Line 1: Name (and spouse's name, if you are filing jointly) and Address
  • Line 2: Social Security Number
  • Line 3: Spouse's Social Security Number, if you are filing jointly
  • Line 4: The estimate of your tax liability
  • Line 5: The total of the payments you made already
  • Line 6: Your estimated balance after subtracting Line 5 from Line 4
  • Line 7: Amount you are sending with your Form 4868
  • Line 8: Only check this if you are out of the country
  • Line 9: Only check this if you file 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ and had no taxes withheld

Why You May Not Want to File an Extension for IRS Returns

Filing an extension for IRS returns is not for everyone. As mentioned before, it is not an effective way to manage a tax debt. Some programs used to provide tax relief may disqualify you from filing an extension for IRS returns. You will not be able to change your filing status from Married Filing Jointly, if you wish to protect your spouse from a possible tax debt. The biggest downside to filing an extension for IRS returns is that it may begin a cycle of always needing more time to file your taxes.

If you are unsure if filing an extension for IRS returns is the right solution for you, consult a professional. Call now or fill out the form below for a free tax debt consultation to make the right decision regarding filing an extension for IRS taxes! We'll only connect you with a tax debt relief company holding at least a B rating with the Better Business Bureau.


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