Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

By | March 9, 2014

Using the Automatic extension to file – Form 4868

If you need additional time to file your return, you can make the Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (Application for Automatic Extension of time to file the statement of federal income tax of individuals in the U.S.). When using Form 4868, the IRS allows you to request an extension to file taxes for an additional 6 months. You will have until October 15 to file your tax return after filing this form. You must request the extension no later than the deadline for submission of the regular tax return on April 15 of the tax year.

Estimated tax liability and Form 4868

Although the extension for the submission of the statement gives you more time to make your return. Filing a tax extension does not give you extra time to pay the taxes you already owe. Therefore, it is essential that you must calculate how much taxes you owe and pay that amount when you file Form 4868 to extend your tax return.

Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

If  you make a payment when you file your Form 4868, include it in the section “Payments” (payments) of your Form 1040 when you file your return. If you do not pay the full amount you owe, the IRS will charge you interest on the unpaid balance until a taxpayer pays the full amount.

Filling out Form 4868

If you do not pay at least 90% of the amount of taxes  you owe you, you could also be subject to a penalty for late payment. The penalty is usually ½ of 1% of the amount owed per month to a maximum of 25%. If you file your Form 4868 no later than the deadline for filing the return (April 15), you will be subject to a late filing penalty after the deadline. The penalty is 5% of the amount due for each month, up to a maximum 25%.

Special rules for expats abroad

Expats living abroad automatically have 2 extra months to file your return and pay the amount due without
request an extension if the following circumstances apply:
  • You are a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
  • You are outside the country of the due date for submission.
 “Out of the country” means any of the following situations:
  • You live outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico or your principal place of business is outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
  • You are military personnel.
Most states also allow an extension of the deadline for submission of a tax return. It is essential for finding out each state’s specific requirements for file an automatic extension of pay taxes. Lastly, always remember, that the faster you file your tax return, the faster you will receive a tax refund.

When to use Form 4868?

Form 4868 is a tax extension for individuals reporting their income to the IRS. This includes all taxpayers who file 1040s, contractors who file 1099s, as well as single-member LLCs and Schedule C Sole Proprietors. Filing a tax extension will extend your tax deadline to October 15 for the following income tax returns:

  • Tax Form 1040
  • Tax Form 1040A
  • Tax Form 1040EZ
  • Tax Form 1040NR
  • Tax Form 1040NR-EZ
  • Tax Form 1040-PR
  • Tax Form 1040-SS


Submitting Form 4868

It’s important to note that submitting Form 4868 does not extend the time for payment of tax, which is still owed by the original due date of your return (April 15). You will need to give an estimate of your tax due when filing for a tax extension ― and you can pay none, all, or part of your estimated Federal income tax due using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) directly from your bank account.