We understand that filing an extension for your tax return can seem overwhelming. Do not worry we are here to help! The most important thing to remember is that you must request the extension by the regular due date of your return to avoid any penalty fees. We suggest filing the extension a few days before the due date. Please keep in mind an extension to file is not an extension of time to pay if you owe money.
There are three ways to request an automatic extension to file your individual income tax return:
- Using a credit or debit card, visit the IRS Direct Pay website and pay all or part of your estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension. Make sure to keep the confirmation number for your records.
- Using your personal computer or through Bechtel CPA E-file Form 4868.
- File a paper Form 4868.
You will need a copy of your prior year’s tax return if you file the Form 4868 electronically. You’ll be asked to provide your prior year’s adjusted gross income (AGI) amount for verification purposes. You will receive an electronic acknowledgement that the IRS has accepted your filing once you have successfully filed. Make sure to keep this for your records. Bechtel CPA is available to answer questions or concerns for ways to file and pay electronically using e-file services.
What happens if you are out of the Country? – The IRS allows two extra months (generally until June 15) to file your return and pay any tax due without requesting an extension, if you’re a U.S. citizen or resident alien, and on the regular due date of your return:
- Your main place of business or post of duty is in the United States and Puerto Rico but you are living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico; or
- On duty military or naval service outside of the United States and Puerto Rico.
If you need additional information, refer to Publication 54, (Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad). Please keep in mind that you must attach a statement to your return explaining which of the two situations qualify you for the extension if you use this automatic 2-month extension. You’ll still have to pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return.
If you file Form 4868 and check the box on line 8 to indicate that you need an additional 4 months to file your return, you can receive an additional 4-month extension of time to file . The additional 4-month period is not an extension of time to pay.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us. We are here to help. Happy filing!