Know about IRS tax extension Form 4868

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Mar 25 2021

What is tax extension Form 4868?

Need more time to prepare your federal tax return this year?

Form 4868 is an application to submit Internal Revenue System (IRS) for an automatic extension of time to file United States individual income tax returns. It grants six months of extension to file income tax returns due on April 15 – October 15.

However, an extension of time to file your return will not grant you an extension to make your tax payments.

On March 17, 2021, the IRS announced the deadline for individual tax returns is extended to May 17, 2021.

This form is only for individual taxpayers and not for corporations and other business entities who file tax other than Form 1040.

Who can file IRS Form 4868

This form is filed by US citizens or residents who want an automatic extension to file an individual income tax return. Those who are out of the country on the due date get two extra months without filling the Form 4868 to file individual tax returns. For extra four months, file the IRS Form 4868 for the extension of time.

The IRS qualifies extension to those:

  • Who lives, or the main place of work, is outside the US and Puerto Rico.
  • Who is on duty for military or naval service outside the US and Puerto Rico.

How to file tax extension Form 4868 online?

This form is relatively short and has only nine lines.

Part I of Form 4868 will include the taxpayer’s name, address, city, state, zip, social security number, and spouse’s social security number.
Part II of the form includes information regarding the estimate of your tax liability for 2020, total 2020 payments, balance due, amount you are paying and total tax payments for the year withholding. If the estimated tax liability for the year is more than your total tax payments, you have a balance due. You don’t have to pay the entire balance, but you can pay as much as possible to avoid paying a late payment penalty and interest.

Can Form 4868 be e-filed?

If you want to file the tax extension Form 4868 online and send a payment by mail, do send a copy of the e-filed form along with your check. In this case, the form acts as the voucher so that your check is credited properly to your tax account.

Three ways to make an electronic payment:

  • Direct pay from your bank account to the IRS with no extra fees.
  • Register in Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) for another free payment system.
  • IRS-approved payment processor through credit or debit card. A small convenience fee will be charged by this processor- a minimal fee for debit card transactions or some percentage of the taxes for credit card transactions.

What is the requirement for filing Form 4868?

You can file the automatic extension form before April 15, 2021 – the usual income tax return day. You don’t need a reason to request the IRS for an extension of time.

IRS will contact you only if your request is denied due to the late filing of Form 4868. Otherwise, if the form is submitted properly, it automatically extends the filing tax return date.

The extension doesn’t mean you get an extension for paying the tax you owe. Anything that remains unpaid after the April 15 will be subject to late fees and penalties. Therefore, pay the tax until the due date, even if you file your income tax returns later.


It isn’t too late to decide whether to file your US individual tax return on your own or hire an expert? Contact our individual tax professionals for a free consultant on preparing and filing your tax this season.


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