What is Form 4868?
Tax Form 4868, or Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form U.S. taxpayers use to request an extension of time to file their individual tax return. Complete and submit this form to the federal agency no later than April 15, the original due date of filing tax returns, to request a six-month extension. If April 15 falls on a weekend or holiday, the next business day becomes the due date. Once the IRS receives and grants your request, you will have until October 15 to file a return.
Submitting Form 4868 does not extend your time to pay taxes; if you do not pay the amount due by the regular due date, April 15, you will incur interest and the IRS may charge you penalties.
Use Form 4868 when you need an extension to file the following:
- Form 1040, U.S. Individual Tax Return
- Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors
- Form 1040-NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return
- Form 1040-NR-EZ, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens with No Dependents
- Form 1040-PR, Self-Employment Tax Return-Puerto Rico
- Form 1040-SS, U.S. Self-Employment Tax Return
How to Fill Out Form 4868?
Filling out Form 4868 requires your standard identification and individual income tax information. You will not have to explain the reason for the extension. Even so, you must provide all the information as accurate and truthful as possible, as providing any incorrect or false information may lead to the IRS declining your request, or worse, penalties.
Part I — Identification
Your name asks for your full legal name. If you plan to file a joint income tax return, provide your and your spouse’s full legal names, in the order in which they will appear on the return.
Address asks for an address. To receive correspondence regarding the extension at an address other than your own, provide that address. If you want your agent to receive the correspondence for you, provide his address and his name. If you changed your address after you filed your last return, report the change to the Social Security Administration before filing Form 4868 using Form 8822.
Your social security number asks for your SSN.
Spouse’s social security number asks for your spouse’s SSN.
Part II — Individual Income Tax
Estimate of total tax liability for 2019 asks for your total income tax liability for 2019 to report on your income tax return. If you have no tax liability, you may enter -0-. Be as precise as possible, as the IRS may decline your extension request if your numbers are way off.
Total 2019 payments asks the total payments you will be reporting on your income tax return
Balance due asks for your total unpaid tax balance for the year. To estimate the amount, subtract your total 2019 payments from your estimate of total tax liability for 2019. If the amount on Line 5 is greater than the amount on Line 4, enter -0-.
Amount you’re paying asks for the total amount you are paying the IRS.
Line 8 has a checkbox that you can mark if you are living outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico on the original deadline for filing your income tax return.
Line 9 has a checkbox that you can mark if you did not receive wages subject to U.S. income tax withholding and your return is due mid-June.
The IRS allows two methods to submit Form 4868.
You can send Form 4868 to the address you send your tax return to. For the complete list of addresses where you can send the form, you may refer to the Where to File a Paper Form 4868 section.
You can also file Form 4868 through the IRS’s official website. Once submitted, you will receive an electronic acknowledgment receipt from the federal agency.