IRS Tax Tip 2011-69, April 7, 2011
Can’t make the April 18 tax filing deadline and need more time to file your tax return? You can get an automatic six month extension of time to file from the IRS.
Here are seven important things you need to know about filing an extension:
1. File on time even if you can’t pay If your return is completed but you are unable to pay the full amount of tax due, do not request an extension. File your return on time and pay as much as you can. The IRS will send you a bill or notice for the balance due. To apply online for a payment agreement, go to the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov and click “Apply for an Online Payment Agreement (OPA)” at the left side of the home page under Online Services. If you are unable to make payments, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to discuss your options.
2. Extra time to file An extension will give you extra time to get your paperwork to the IRS, but it does not extend the time you have to pay any tax due. You will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April 18 deadline, plus you may owe penalties.
3. Form to file Request an extension to file by submitting Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to the IRS by April 18, 2011, or make an extension-related electronic credit card payment. For more information about extension-related credit card payments, see Form 4868.
4. E-file extension You can e-file an extension request using tax preparation software with your own computer or by going to a tax preparer who has the software. The IRS will acknowledge receipt of the extension request if you file by computer.
5. Traditional Free File and Free File Fillable Forms You can use both Free File options to file an extension. Access the Free File page at http://www.irs.gov.
6. Electronic funds withdrawal If you ask for an extension via computer, you can also choose to pay any expected balance due by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal from a checking or savings account. You will need the appropriate bank routing and account numbers. For information about these and other methods of payment, visit the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov or call 800-TAX-1040 (800-829-1040).
7. How to get forms Form 4868 is available for download from the IRS website or may be ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).You can also obtain the form at your local IRS office. Telephone requests normally take 7 - 15 days to process and ship.
Form 4868, Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return ( PDF 165K)
Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request (PDF 100K)
Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad ( PDF 1.46MB)
Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide ( PDF 1.17MB)