General Instructions

Purpose of Form

Use Form 4768 for the following purposes:

  • To apply for an automatic 6-month extension of time to file:

    1. Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation- 
      Skipping Transfer) Tax Return;

    2. Form 706-A, United States Additional Estate Tax Return;

    3. Form 706-D, United States Additional Estate Tax Return Under Code Section 2057;

    4. Form 706-NA, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, Estate of nonresident not a citizen of the United States; or

    5. Form 706-QDT, United States Estate Tax Return for Qualified Domestic Trusts.

  • To apply for a discretionary (additional) extension of time to file Form 706 (Part II of Form 4768);

  • To apply for a discretionary (for cause) extension of time to file Form 706; or

  • To apply for an extension of time to pay estate or generation-skipping transfer tax under section 6161 (Part III of Form 4768).

Note.

If you are applying for an extension for Form 706-A or 706-D, substitute “qualified heir” (or “trustee/designated filer” for Form 706-QDT) for “executor” in these instructions unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

Who May File

An executor filing Forms 706 or 706-NA for a decedent's estate may file Form 4768 to apply for an extension of time to file under section 6081(a) and/or an extension of time to pay the estate tax under section 6161(a)(2). See the instructions for Forms 706 or 706-NA for a definition of the term “executor.” If there is more than one executor, only one is required to sign Form 4768.

Also, an authorized attorney, certified public accountant, enrolled agent, or agent holding power of attorney may use this form to apply for an extension of time on behalf of the executor.

A qualified heir who is filing Form 706-A or Form 706-D, or a trustee/designated filer filing Form 706-QDT, may use Form 4768 to request an extension of time to file the return and/or pay the additional tax.

The form must be signed by the person filing the application. If filed by an attorney, certified public accountant, enrolled agent, or agent holding a power of attorney, check the appropriate box.

When To File

Automatic extension (Part II).    If you are applying for an automatic 6-month extension of time to file Forms 706, 706-A, 706-D, 706-NA, or 706-QDT, file Form 4768 by the original due date for the applicable return.

Additional extension (Part II).   An additional extension is available only if you are an executor who is out of the country.

  If you have already received an automatic 6-month extension and are applying for an additional extension, include an explanation of why a reasonably complete return cannot be filed by the due date. File Form 4768 early enough to allow the IRS to consider the application before the extended due date.

Extension for cause.   If you have not filed an application for an automatic extension for Form 706, and the time for filing such an application has passed, an extension of time to file may still be granted if good cause is shown. File Form 4768, along with explanations of why the automatic extension was not requested and why a complete return was not filed by the due date, as soon as possible.

Note.

An application for an extension of time to pay estate tax applied for after the estate tax due date will generally not be considered by the IRS.

How To File

File a separate Form 4768 for each form for which you are requesting an extension of time to file. Check the appropriate form number in Part II of Form 4768.

A separate Form 4768 is required to request an extension of time to pay:

  • The tax due shown on Form 706,

  • The tax due as a result of an amended or supplemental Form 706,

  • The additional tax due as a result of an IRS examination of Form 706, or

  • The tax due as a section 6166 installment payment.

When requesting an extension of time to pay, do not send Form 4768 with Form 706. It must be mailed in a separate envelope to the Internal Revenue Service Center listed under Where To File.

The return must be filed before the extension of time expires. It may not be amended after this time, although supplemental information may later be filed which may result in a different amount of tax.

Where To File

Forms 706, 706-A, 706-D, 706-NA, and 706-QDT.   File an extension request for these forms at the following address: 

Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service Center 
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Private delivery services (PDS).   In addition to the United States mail, filers can use certain PDS designated by the IRS to meet the “timely mailing as timely filing/paying” rule for tax returns and payments. These private delivery services include only the following:
  • DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service.

  • Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First.

  • United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.

  The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.

Interest

Interest must be paid on any estate and GST taxes that are not paid in full by the original due date of the tax return, regardless of whether an extension of time to file and/or pay has been obtained.

Penalties

Penalties may be imposed for failure to file the estate (and GST) tax return within the extension period granted, or failure to pay the balance of the estate (and GST) tax due within the extension period granted.

Bond

If an extension of time to pay is granted, the executor may be required to furnish a bond.


More Online Instructions