The best way to file for a tax extension

Want extra time?

This text was first printed on March 10, 2015, and was up to date on March 19, 2018, and March 7, 2019.

Submitting revenue taxes might be an arduous activity for busy small enterprise homeowners. It’s tempting to place it off as a result of it isn’t enjoyable (until you actually love accounting) and it’s loads of work. Wouldn’t it’s good if the IRS might provide you with a break? Because it seems, they do! Considerably. The IRS presents one thing known as a tax extension.

People, S-corporations or C-corporations can request an additional six months to finish their submitting.


The IRS tax extension provides people till October 15 (or the subsequent enterprise day), whereas companies have till September 15 (or the subsequent enterprise day) to file their tax paperwork.

The tax extension is for the paperwork solely! The IRS nonetheless requires you to pay the quantity that you just owe in revenue by the unique deadline.

One of many advantages of getting the tax extension is that you just get extra time to get your revenue tax paperwork collectively, which is nice for entrepreneurs spinning a lot of totally different plates.

Plus, for those who had a tough time discovering a CPA to work with and perceive your small business, now you’ve got extra time to seek out the appropriate one. As well as, you’re typically mechanically granted a state extension once you apply for a federal tax extension. However don’t take that with no consideration; make sure to double-check to be sure to have an extension on each.

Associated: 2019 tax calendar for small enterprise homeowners

Then again, in case your downside is monetary disorganization or a bookkeeping phobia, a tax extension would possibly solely lengthen the inevitable reckoning.


It would enable you to decide how a lot it is best to pay the IRS in revenue tax, and can forestall you from going through one more revenue tax deadline in six months.

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The best way to file for a tax extension

Right here’s methods to file for a tax extension:

  • For people: Fill out Type 4868.
  • For companies and companies: Fill out Type 7004 for automated extension of time to file sure enterprise revenue tax, data and different returns.
  • For companies anticipating a internet working loss carryback, fill out Type 1138 for extension of time for fee of taxes.

For extra particular data, go to the IRS website that outlines tax extension data.

Associated: The best way to file taxes as a brand new on-line vendor 

What occurs once you file for an revenue tax extension?

The query then turns into whether or not or not it is best to go forward and pay the IRS or wait and accrue penalty charges. Let’s break it down:

Say you’re a person or an S company and also you’ve been granted a tax extension. You’ve time to estimate the taxes you owe, so that you determine to go forward and pay the IRS what you assume you’ll owe them. So as do this, you’ll need to make use of the shape 1040ES to work out your estimated tax, as all companies are totally different.

Associated: What’s the take care of quarterly estimated taxes? 

As both an S corp or a person, if in case you have been in enterprise for awhile, you too can discuss with final 12 months’s kind. Make word of all of your revenue and deductions for this 12 months’s kind and see what the whole tax was that you just paid final 12 months.

Intention to pay one hundred pc to 110 p.c of that quantity to keep away from underpayment and the ensuing penalties and curiosity.

In the event you, as a person or S company, determine to take an extension and never pay on the first due date, remember that the IRS prices 5 p.c a month in penalties or as much as 25 p.c of the whole tax. In case your fee is greater than 60 days late, you can be charged a minimal penalty of the much less of $210 or one hundred pc of the taxes owed.

Whereas it’s true that you’ll probably be given the tax extension, as greater than 97 p.c f the requests are fulfilled, don’t take it with no consideration that it’s going to occur. You’ll want to give your self loads of time to determine what you owe.

The above content material shouldn’t be construed as authorized or tax recommendation. All the time seek the advice of an legal professional or tax skilled relating to your particular authorized or tax scenario.

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