What is 'IRS Form 4868'

IRS Form 4868 is an Internal Revenue Service form for individuals who wish to extend the amount of time they have to file their tax returns.


IRS Form 4868 should be completed with the individual or married couple's names, address, Social Security numbers, estimate of total tax liability for the year, total payments already made, remaining amount due and amount being paid, if there is any. IRS Form 4868 is also known as the Application of Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Tax Return.

This form extends the due date for filing a tax return by six months and must be filed by the regular due date of your return,which is usually April 15 for most taxpayers. IRS Form 4868 does not extend the amount of time the taxpayer has to pay his or her full tax liability for the year; it only extends the amount of time allowed to file the tax return paperwork. The remaining amount due must be submitted with the form.

Taxpayers Who Are Out of the Country

Taxpayers who are not in the United States at the deadline for filing taxes are allowed two extra months to file their taxes and pay any outstanding balance, without needing to file an IRS Form 4868. Interest will be charged, however, on any amount still due at the filing deadline. Taxpayers are considered out of the country if they live and work outside the United States or Puerto Rico or if they are actively serving in the military outside the United States or Puerto Rico. In such a scenario, taxpayers should  request an extension to a date after they expect to return to the U.S. using Form 2350, also known as the Application for Extension of Time To File U.S. Income Tax Return. 

Filing IRS Form 4868

Taxpayers living in the United States can file Form 4868 to request an extension of up to six months to file their taxes, but taxpayers don’t have to use all the extra time allotted, and can file their taxes at any point within the extension window. Taxpayers will owe interest of outstanding taxes owed, even if they qualify for the extension. The IRS typically charges taxpayers with overdue balances a 0.5% late charge of the entire balance owed, for each month the balance is outstanding, with a maximum late charge of 25%.

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