Tax Extension Tips

If you’ve never applied for a tax extension before, the process can seem a bit confusing at first. The key is to familiarize yourself with the relevant information and learn what steps you need to take in order to properly file a tax extension.

Here are some useful tips to help you get a successful tax extension from the IRS:

Know Which Tax Form to Use

There are a few different tax forms that are used to request Federal extensions. IRS Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) is designed for individual taxpayers seeking a 6-month personal tax extension. IRS Form 7004 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns) is designed for taxpayers seeking a 5- or 6-month business tax extension.

Know the Deadline for Your Tax Extension

Your tax extension application must be filed by the original due date of your tax return. Form 4868 extends the filing deadline for personal income tax returns, which are due by April 15 (for calendar year taxpayers). Therefore, Form 4868 must be submitted to the IRS by April 15 to get a personal tax extension. On the other hand, Form 7004 extends the filing deadline for business tax returns, which are due by March 15 or April 15 (for calendar year taxpayers) depending on the type of business entity. Therefore, Form 7004 must be submitted to the IRS by that date (March 15 or April 15) to get a business tax extension.

Provide Accurate Information

The IRS will grant an automatic tax extension to anyone who requests it on time — as long as you’ve correctly filled out the application form (Form 4868 or Form 7004). Your name, address, and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) have to be accurate and must match IRS records. Otherwise, the IRS will reject your tax extension request. In fact, most rejections are caused by typing errors, or a name that doesn’t match the Social Security Number (SSN) provided. While it’s rare, customers who are rejected can get help fixing their application and then resubmit it for free.

Pay Your Tax Balance with Your Tax Extension

Remember that a tax extension gives you more time to file your return. It does not give you more time to pay your tax balance, which is still due by the original deadline of your tax return. If you fail to pay your tax balance in-full, the IRS will charge interest and penalties on your unpaid balance. The best option is to use an Authorized IRS e-file Provider like, where you can e-file a tax extension and pay your taxes online at the same time.

Don’t Forget About Your State Tax Extension

Most of the information out there is focused on Federal tax extensions from the IRS. But what about getting a State tax extension too? All state governments actually provide tax extension options as well, although the tax laws are different in each state. Make sure to check with your state for its tax extension rules before proceeding. Visit our State Tax Extensions page for information about your particular state.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our friendly Support Team.

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