How to Request an IRS Income Tax Extension

It’s that time of year again… Taxes are due in less than three weeks. If you haven’t finished your returns (like we have !) it’s time to get cracking.

But what if you’re not going to make it? Well, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you can request a six month extension — which is automatically granted — but you still have to pay whatever is due by April 15th.

Said another way, if you don’t want to run the risk of a late payment penalty, you still have to essentially complete your return by the 15th so you’ll know what (if anything) to pay.

A few facts about income tax extensions:

  1. To request an extension, you should use IRS Form 4868. Any tax prep software worth its salt will also be able to handle this, as will any professional tax preparer .
  2. Even if you request an extension, you still have to pay the amount due no later than April 15, 2013 to avoid penalties.
  3. After filing an extension request, your new deadline for filing your income tax return will be October 15, 2013.

And, assuming that you don’t live in an income tax-free state. you’ll also need to consider requesting a state filing extension. The process is similar, though you’ll need to get the details for your particular state.

If you choose to file an extension, you should claim credit for your payment on the appropriate line of your return:

  • Form 1040, line 68
  • Form 1040A, line 41
  • Form 1040EZ, line 9
  • Form 1040NR, line 64
  • Form 1040NR-EZ, line 21
  • Form 1040-PR, line 10
  • Form 1040-SS, line 10

That’s it. Happy filing!

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Category: Taxes

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