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How to Get an Extension to File Your Tax Return

Do you know that every 15th of April, your taxes are due?

Yes, that deadline is fast approaching once again, and you might be in a race against time to meet the deadline.

However, do you know that there is a way to get an extension that gives you more time to file your tax returns?

If you are having difficulties with the deadline, there is a short form which can be submitted that will enable you to get the time extended for filing your taxes.

No matter what your reasons are, the IRS offers the provision for you to get an extension which means that you have nothing to worry about in the event that you unintentionally skip the deadline.

With the extension, you get about six more months which will take you up till October 15 to get your tax return filed.

A lot of people usually get jittery and tense up as the deadline for filing tax returns approaches.

If tax season gives you a sense of anxiety, you’re not alone.

This same situation applies to many people just like you.

Many people seem to be unaware of how they can get an extension if they cannot meet the deadline set out by the IRS.
In this article, I will show you the steps to take that will get you an extension.

With provisions from the Internal Revenue Service, you can quickly request relief if it is impossible for you to file your returns on time.

Getting an Extension from the IRS to File Your Tax Returns

The Internal Revenue Service gives individuals, as well as, businesses and estates the opportunity to file their tax returns even beyond the deadline if the extension is granted.

However, note that an extension will not necessarily cover the payment of taxes.

So, failure to remit old taxes by April 15 could still result in penalties and interest.

With the provisions from the IRS, you do not need to panic anymore.

Taxpayers just like you can get extensions if they require some added time to round up their returns.

Keep in mind that you will be getting an extension to file your returns not necessarily a payment extension, but if you have difficulties with paying what is owed, you could still qualify for certain plans, as well as, other forms of relief.

If you are unable to pay the total amount that is due, you are still encouraged to file your taxes.

Getting the time extended is very quick and easy, and all it takes is just a few minutes.

No matter how big or small the income is, this service is open to everyone. Here are the different options for you to get a tax returns extension –

Personal Tax Returns Extension

By making use of Form 4868, the deadline of April 15 can be extended to October 15 which gives you ample time to file your return.

There are some actionable steps that you can take to successfully complete this process seamlessly.

I will walk you through them:

Estimate Your Tax Liability

First, you need to estimate how much taxes you expect to owe all through the year.

You can do this by subtracting the tax aggregate which is taken from your paycheck plus the paid taxes estimates from the total tax being owed.

If there are any exemptions, as well as, deductions that you expect to claim, then, lower your income by that amount before you go ahead to estimate the tax liability.

When requesting an extension, we recommend that you include payment for any previously owed tax.

Download Form 4868

When you complete Form 4868, you’ll be able to get your tax returns filing time extended by six months.

This form is available on the IRS website and can be filled out in just a few minutes.

However, making estimated tax payments using your credit card or your debit card by the deadline of April 15 will lead to an automatic extension.

Fill Out Form 4868

Only very little information is required for you to feel Form 4868.

You will be required to provide your name, social security number, as well as, address.

You can add a check that is directed to the Treasury of the United States if you do not intend to make estimated tax payments with your card.

Mail the Form

Once you have completed Form 4868, need to mail it to the right Internal Revenue Service address in your local area as directed.

An important point to remember is that your Form should be mailed using your main tax return date.

If you fill this Form accurately, you will be exempted from a penalty that comes with late filing.

Then again, if you make payments and request an extension, the interest, as well as, the penalties that are applied to post-deadline payments will be eliminated or reduced.

There is, also, another way to get an extension which is via paid tax preparers.

A tax preparer is a software, and millions of people make use of it to file for an extension too.

Extensions on Tax Returns For United States Expatriates

If you are outside the United States by the deadline for filing taxes, you can request an extension and get an extra two months.

For you to qualify, it is expected that you have ongoing military service or that you mainly conduct business outside the United States.

All you have to do is to file your return within the two-month extension period after the deadline of April 15.

As you do so, include a statement that explains the reason that you qualify to have a two-month extension.

In contrast with the six months extension that you can access if you reside in the United States, what the two months extension does is to help you avoid penalties that apply to late payments.

However, keep in mind that interest charges will apply on any amount not paid by the deadline of April 15.

Extension For Estate Tax Return

Ordinarily, tax returns for an estate are due, at most, nine months from the death of the decedent.

To get the estate tax return filing time extended by six months, the estate executor should file Form 4768.

This should provide the needed time for filing Form 706.

In the event that the executor is not present in the country, an extra six months extension can be filed for, thereby, adding up to a 12-month total.

Keep in mind, however, that the executor must manually apply for an extension with the Internal Revenue Service before the first extension is terminated.

Extension For Business Tax Returns

5-month extensions are automatically available to partnerships that use Form 1065 to file their income tax returns.

Also, corporations that make use of Form 1120 to file their income tax returns are given an extension of 6 months as long as they file Form 7004 with the Internal Revenue Service on or before the main deadline of April 15.

For sole proprietors that make use of a Schedule C, Form 4868 can help you to get an extension.

If you are caught in severe situations such as a natural disaster in recent times, you can get an automatic extension without even applying for one.

Making E-Payments seamlessly

If you are a taxpayer and you have a balance, there are many provisions that are quick and easy to help you pay what is old electronically. Here are the ways –


This is an electronic system of paying taxes to the federal government.

It provides you with an avenue for safely and conveniently paying up your personal, as well as, business’ taxes online or over the phone.

Electronic Funds Withdrawal

Now you can e-file, as well as, e-pay very easily.

Credit/Debit Card

Whether you are filing using the paper method or the electronic method, you can make use of your phone or an online avenue to pay your tax.

The IRS has authorized some card processors, and you might be charged by these processors.

If you itemize your deductions, you can claim these fees on schedule A.

If you decide to make your tax payments through a check or by utilizing a money order, your payment should be directed to the Treasury of the United States.


So, this is everything you need to know about getting an extension for filing tax returns.

Of course, the deadline remains April 15, but you do not need to panic if you may not meet up with that deadline.

The provisions of the IRS entitle you to extensions in different circumstances.

Whether it’s about your personal tax returns, estate tax returns, expatriate tax returns, or corporate tax returns, you can take advantage of the provisions made by the IRS to get an extension.

Have questions?

Please feel free to post them in the comment section below!

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