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How to File a Tax Extension

It’s that time of the year again when we have to dig up transaction details from our files and brains in order to put together a comprehensive picture of the past twelve months. The IRS allows us to deduct as much as we can within the tax rules but many people often end up leaving money on the table because the tax code is so complex. The burden of compliance is on us.

One way to ensure we minimize money left on the table is to take our time filing taxes. In fact, once filed, we should sleep on it and revisit a couple times down the road to ensure we have indeed captured everything we need to.

In this article, our friend has provided some pretty helpful tips on filing a tax extension, which buys you more time to focus on ensuring your tax returns are as complete as possible. I know you will enjoy it.

Although the deadline to file your taxes in 2016 is April 18th, you can gain an additional 6 months of time by filing for an extension. An extension allows you the time to save money for an expected payment or gather paperwork needed to file a complete return. When filing for an extension, you avoid having to pay penalties to the IRS.

Print and Mail the Form

The IRS website, at, has forms that can be filled out available. The form that you need to file an extension is IRS Form 4868. Mailing the form directly to the IRS takes more time. It does still have to be postmarked by midnight on April 18th to be considered.

Make sure that the form prints clearly, first and foremost. Use a fresh pen, or one with enough ink, to fill out the form. Ensure that you have filled out every section of the form and that you have signed it. If you are married, your spouse will also need to check over the form and sign it.

Send the completed IRS Form 4868 to the IRS office in your state. Addresses for each state’s IRS office location is available on the IRS website.

With a Tax Preparation Service

Most online tax preparation websites do offer the option to file for an extension. Search their database for IRS Form 4868 or the option to file for an extension. Complete the form and make sure it is electronically signed.

Once the form is completed, the tax preparation service can send it off electronically to the IRS for approval. The IRS will mail a letter to your home alerting you that your extension request has been accepted. The letter will also include information about penalties and fees should you miss the extended date to file.

Acceptance of the Extension

Tax filing extensions are granted rather quickly. When they are submitted online, it typically takes 1 to 3 business days for acceptance. When you choose to mail you paperwork, it can take 2 weeks. A letter will be mailed to you that will show the granted extension. It will also be noted that no penalties or interest will be accrued during the extension period.

One Extension Only

You are only permitted one extension per tax filing year. If you do not complete your tax return by the end of the extension period, October 16th for 2016, you will be charged interested and late filing penalties. This can lead to mounting tax debt. Liens on homes and vehicles can take place, as well as wage garnishments, until the debt is paid in full.

Closing Thoughts

Many people panic when they realize that “tax day” is coming soon and their return is not done. In some cases, they are not even prepared to begin their return due to being disorganized or not having the required documents. Filing an extension can have advantages and be a saving grace and takes a lot of the stress off of you for rushing to get your taxes done.


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