Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is a document issued by the IRS to taxpayers who want to apply for an extension to file their tax returns.
Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a form used to apply for an extension to file tax returns after their regular due date.
The duration of the extension varies, depending on your location when filing Form 4868. If you are in the United States, you will have additional six months. If you qualify as an "out of the country" taxpayer, you will have additional four months.
You may use Form 4868 when filing an extension for the following tax returns:
To qualify for an extension to file a certain tax return, you must file Form 4868 before its due date.
For calendar year 2020, or other tax year beginning
Enter the beginning and the ending date of the tax year.
Part I. Identification
Enter your information. If filing a joint return, enter your spouse's information as well.
1. Your name(s)
Enter your name.
If you had a name change due to marriage or divorce, you must report it to the Social Security Administration before filing Form 4868.
Enter your street address.
If you changed your mailing address after you filed your last return, you must file Form 8822, Change of Address, to notify the IRS of the change.
City, town, or post office
Enter the city, town, or post office where you live.
Enter the state where you live.
Enter the ZIP code where you live.
2. Your social security number
Enter your Social Security Number.
If filing a joint return, enter the SSN that you will show first on your return.
If you file Form 1040-NR as an estate or trust, enter your Employer Identification Number (EIN). Then, enter “estate” or “trust” in the left margin next to your EIN.
3. Spouse’s social security number
Enter your spouse's Social Security Number. If filing a joint return, enter the second SSN to be shown on your return.
Part II. Individual Income Tax
Estimate accurately so your extension request will not be deemed null and void.
4. Estimate of total tax liability for 2020
Enter your estimate of your total tax liability shown in the following documents for the current tax year:
If your estimated total tax liability for the current tax year is zero, enter 0.
5. Total 2020 payments
Enter the total payment you expect to make in the following documents for the current tax year:
6. Balance due
Subtract the amount you entered on line 5 from the amount on line 4. Then, enter the difference. If the amount on line 5 is more than on line 4, do not subtract, then enter 0.
7. Amount you’re paying
Enter the amount you will pay.
You will still be granted an extension if you cannot pay the amount on line 6. However, you must pay as much as you can to limit the amount of interest you will owe.
8. Check here if you’re “out of the country” and a U.S. citizen or resident.
Mark the box if you are a U.S. citizen or resident and you are not in the U.S. on the regular due date of your return.
9. Check here if you file Form 1040-NR and didn’t receive wages as an employee subject to U.S. income tax withholding
Mark the box if you file Form 1040-NR and you did not receive wages subject to U.S. income tax withholding.
You must file Form 4868 no later than the original due date of your tax return.
If you are out of the country on the regular date of your return, you are allowed two months to file your return and pay any amount due without filing Form 4868. However, interest will be charged on payments made after your return's regular due date.
You are qualified as an out-of-the-country taxpayer if:
You may use any of the following private delivery services designated by the IRS to file your Form 4868 with or without the payment:
Use the following mailing address:
1. Austin - Internal Revenue Submission Processing Center
3651 S IH35,
Austin TX 78741
2. Kansas City - Internal Revenue Submission Processing Center
333 W. Pershing,
Kansas City, MO 64108
3. Ogden - Internal Revenue Submission Processing Center
1973 Rulon White Blvd.
Ogden, UT 84201
If you want to mail your Form 4868 from a post office to the IRS, use the appropriate mailing address stated on the Where To File a Paper Form 4868 section (page 4) of Form 4868. The mailing address for returns with and without payment is different
Form 4868 for tax extension can be filed electronically or by mail. To file electronically, fill out Form 4868 online, generate an automated confirmation number, and print the form. Send the documents to the IRS by fax or mail.
The purpose of IRS Form 4868 is to request an extension for filing your income tax return. If you receive an extension to file your individual federal income tax, then the IRS is giving you extra time to file rather than penalizing you for not filing on time. The extension is good until October 15th of each year.
Extensions are not automatic, you must file Form 4868 to receive an extension beyond the normal April tax filing deadline.
If you are expecting a refund, you do not have to file a tax extension.
Filing a tax extension using IRS Form 4868 is free. You do not have to pay anything to file a tax extension. However, if you owe taxes and do not pay them by the April 15 deadline, you will likely have to pay a fee when you file your income tax return.
You only file IRS Form 4868 if you are requesting an automatic six-month extension on filing your income tax return. Taxpayers are not allowed to tack on the extra time to pay their taxes, so if you owe money, you will need an additional form and a payment plan in place to avoid penalties and interest.
It's important to note that this is an extension of time to file your tax return, not an extension of time to pay taxes owed.
If you want additional time to file and do not owe money, then Form 4868 is not the right form for you. There are other options that can help people with their taxes who need more time (e.g., Hardship and Special Relief Extensions).
Otherwise, if you are asking for additional time to both file and pay, then Form 1127, Application for Extension of Time for Payment of Tax Due to Undue Hardship, is the right form for you. It's an application for a payment extension. However, this application is not available in all states, so check to see what your state offers in terms of extensions before you submit it.
Tax extension payments allow taxpayers to properly complete their tax returns without penalty. Eligible taxpayers may request an extension of time to file their federal income tax returns, but they must also estimate and pay any taxes due. By filing the Form 4868 tax extension form, taxpayers can request an automatic six-month filing extension.
Here's a quick guide to filing a federal income tax extension on time, at no cost.
You can choose to file an extension by paper or electronically. If you file electronically, you'll get your refund faster since it will be available earlier. There are 3 ways you can submit the form, such as online, by phone, or by mail.
If you've decided to file an extension for your federal income tax return, the first step is to determine which method works best for you:
Here is some more information on each option:
You must complete and submit Form 4868 to request a tax extension for a joint tax account. You must also provide your spouse's employer identification number on the form.
It is recommended to file separately for each account if you are not married filing jointly with your spouse. This makes sure that each tax return is evaluated individually and any taxes due are paid accordingly.
Even if you are not required to file a tax return since you do not owe anything, you still may want to. Generally, you want to be able to accurately report any income you received during the year and any expenses you incurred that will reduce your taxable income. If you do not owe any taxes, filing a tax return can help determine if you have a tax refund coming. If you do not file a tax return, you may not be eligible for certain benefits or reduced rates.
The IRS has many times overstated that filing a tax return even when no income is reported and no tax is owed, is the right thing to do for your future. The IRS states that if you are not required to file a return, filing one might benefit you in these ways:
The penalties for filing taxes late include fines, penalties, and possible jail time. However, the Internal Revenue Service will not throw taxpayers in prison just because they owe back taxes or even if they fail to file tax returns.
However, it is possible that you may face criminal fraud charges if you knowingly file a false return. Nevertheless, most taxpayers who fail to file their tax returns on time or at all simply face civil penalties, not criminal charges.
The IRS normally charges five penalties on top of any regular interest charges you incur when you do not file your tax returns on time. The total penalty is based on how late you are with your taxes. These penalties are as follows:
If you forgot to file taxes, you must file as soon as possible. It's important to file a tax return otherwise the IRS will become suspicious of you for not filing.
In order to avoid additional fines and penalties, it is your responsibility to file your taxes as soon as possible. Furthermore, if you haven't filed taxes in 3 years or more, it is even more important that you file a tax return as the IRS will be more likely to perform an audit on your records. In order to "clear" yourself, you must file the past due tax returns and include all details required by the IRS in order to prevent receiving additional fines or penalties.
If you have been notified that a tax return was filed under your SSN, you must determine whether the return is yours. If not, you have an obligation to report your findings to the IRS within 60 days in order to prevent any tax implications that may arise from a fraudulent filing.
IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is for extensions for your income tax return while IRS Form 2350, Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return, is used by U.S. citizens and residents living abroad, on temporary assignment with a foreign government, whose main place of business is outside the U.S.
You almost always need to file both forms, 4868 and 2350, if you meet the filing requirements for either form. The only way that you don't have to file either form is if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien who lives outside the United States and Puerto Rico, and your main place of business is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or you are in military service outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and your tax home is in a foreign country.
There are no criminal penalties for not filing a tax return. However, if you willfully fail to file a return, you can be subject to civil penalties. Some of these penalties include fines and imprisonment. Willfully means voluntarily, consciously, and intentionally. If your failure to file is due to fraud or an intent to evade the tax laws, you can be subject to criminal penalties.
First, the taxpayer has to know that he or she is required to file a tax return. Second, you have to know that you are supposed to pay federal income taxes on your earnings. Third, if you did not pay any taxes on your earnings, then you have willfully failed to file a return. You are then subject to failure-to-file penalties. If you did not earn enough income to require filing a tax return, you likely can't be charged with failing to file because the IRS has no way of knowing if you earned any money or not.
It is important for taxpayers to remember that even if they don't owe any taxes, they are still required to file a return. If you were self-employed or received wages from an employer, your failure to file a tax return could result in the assessment of penalties as well as interest on any amount due.
There is no fee when submitting an extension for filing an income tax return to the IRS using Form 4868.
An explanation about the extension request is not needed. The IRS will contact you if your request is denied.
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