If you’re not quite ready to file your 2014 taxes on April 15, it’s pretty simple to ask for an extension. This will push the deadline back six months to October 15, 2015 and help you avoid IRS late-filing penalties.
There's an extremely important catch, however.
IRS extensions only extend the due date for the paperwork. If you owe money, you need to estimate the amount, and make a payment along with your extension request by April 15, 2015. If not, you may face steep penalties.
Already feeling overwhelmed? Contact us, and we’ll file the extension for you. Think you can handle it? Read on to find out how to request an extension.
How to file a federal tax extension:
Download the IRS Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
Print the form and instructions.
Fill out the form to the best of your ability.
If you owe federal taxes, estimate how much, and include your payment with your Form 4868. If you don't make a payment for the taxes due, you could be liable for penalties and interest, even if you've filed for an extension.
Send it to the IRS address for your state—postmarked by April 15, 2015.
Be sure to complete and file your return on or before October 15, 2015.
Need to use a credit card to pay taxes owed?
If you've mailed Form 4868 and would like to pay your estimated taxes by credit card, you can use one of several IRS approved Electronic Payment Methods. You can pay with your credit card online or by phone. Again, be sure to file your complete return by October 15, 2015.
Things to Keep in Mind
- If you underestimate the amount of tax you owe, you'll have to pay interest on whatever amount you fail to pay by April15.
- If you pay less than 90% of the tax you owe, you'll end up owing a penalty of 0.5% of the underpayment every month until you pay the balance. For example, if you pay $600 on April 17, but discover when you complete your return that you really owe $1,000, you will owe 0.5 percent per month on the $400 that is overdue, or about $2 a month, until you pay the balance in full.
If you live outside the United States
If you live outside the United States, you may be able to get an extension by filing IRS Form 2350: Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return if you believe you will qualify for special tax treatment. See IRS Publication 54: Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad to learn if this form might help you.
Do you need to request a state tax extension?
State tax extension guidelines vary. To see detailed information about state extension filing deadlines and mailing addresses, select your state of interest from this state tax authority's website.