What is a tax extension?

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Although federal tax returns are due on March 15th or April 15th (depending on business form - see “When are taxes due?”), the IRS offers an automatic six-month extension to file your taxes known as Form 4868 (Form 7004 for businesses). It is important to note that a tax extension does not give you additional time to pay, it is merely an extension of time to file.

When are tax extensions due?

For an extension to be valid, it must be submitted by the original due date of the return (see “When are taxes due?” for original due dates)

When can I file an extension?

Extensions may be filed any time from the start of the tax season, up until the original deadline of the tax return. If the original tax filing deadline has already passed, any extension filed would be considered invalid.

Do I still need to make a payment if I file an extension?

There is no penalty for requesting an extension, but the full payment on the taxes owed are due by the original due date of the return.

If your taxes are not paid by the deadline, the IRS issues a 0.5 percent penalty of the unpaid taxes for each month/part of a month that a tax return is late.

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