How To File For A Federal Tax Extension
April 15 comes fast, so sometimes you need to know how to file for a federal tax extension. You can get an automatic six months federal tax extension, but you have to file a form to do so. The proper form for the tax extension must be filed by April 15.
In order to file for a federal tax extension, you’ll need the following items:
- Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return
- Computer with internet access
- Pencil with eraser
- Pen (optional)
- Envelope (optional)
- Postage stamp (optional)
- Find form 4868 at the www.irs.gov website. Type in “Form 4868” in the search box at the top of the page. Print it out.
- Read the directions on the form carefully. Reread them. Highlight the parts that pertain to your situation. Make sure that Form 4868 is the right one for your circumstances.
- Fill out the form in pencil as a practice form. Follow all directions carefully.
- E-file your federal tax extension form. Find instructions to do this by typing in “Free File” in the search box at the top of the page at the www.irs.gov website. Fill in the information on the form electronically. Copy the practice form you filled out in pencil.
- If you want to mail in your federal tax extension request, print out a second form. Fill in the information clearly in pen. Copy the practice form you filled out in pencil.
- Find the proper address for your state on form 4868. Stamp the envelope and address it clearly to file for a federal tax extension by mail. Remember to include your return address on the envelope.
Keep in mind that if you end up owing tax, you will have to pay interest on that amount if you pay it after April 15. The interest starts accruing on April 16. You may have to pay penaltie, too. Therefore, it’s super important to pay any tax you owe as soon as you possibly can.
If you are not living in the US, or are not going to be in the US when your six month federal tax extension ends, or if you are serving in the military, you will likely need a form other than the 4868. Check the www.irs.gov site and the directions on form 4868 for details.