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Home > Tax Refund Tips > What Should I Know about Tax Extension Form

What Should I Know about Tax Extension Form

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2024-05-22 13:36:15 • Filed to: Tax Refund Tips • Proven solutions

Filing taxes is a duty of every citizen in the United States. It is a civic obligation. However, due to circumstances beyond one's control, many would not be ready to file their taxes before the deadline of April 18, 2024, and this is actually worrisome. In a bid to accommodate and make things a little more flexible, there became a need for an extension. This means that citizens will still have a second chance of filing taxes for the year 2024, however, this must be done officially through the Tax extension form. This article will show you how to file a tax extension, which tax extension form should you use, and more. 

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Part 1: What's the Purpose of Tax Extension

With the arrival of the spring season, tax day will be here before we know it. There are chances that many people will not be ready to file their tax returns before the deadline. Due to this obvious fact, the Internal Revenue Service granted an automatic six months extension every year to ensure people file their taxes. This is the main purpose of the tax extension. On completion of the IRS extension form, it allows an individual to officially request an extension of time to file their tax returns. However, it is important to note that the tax extension form must be received by the IRS by the original filing deadline to be considered valid.

Tax Extension Deadline 2024

The tax season in 2024 will start on Tuesday, January 3, 2024, when you can file for 2022 tax year returns. The tax filing deadline to submit 2024 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2024. So the deadline to submit a tax extension is also Tuesday, April 18, 2024.

Part 2: Which Tax Extension Form Should I Use?

There are many tax extension forms serving different purposes as can be seen below. However, it is important to know which one to use at any given situation and time.

1. IRS Form 4868- Application of Automatic Extension of Time to file U.S Individual Income Tax Return

irs form 4868

This is the proper and required tax form to use to file the extension of your individual income tax return and submit it to the Internal Revenue Service by April 18, 2024. Also note that you must also send payment for any due taxes. In addition, tax payers can also file for an online tax extension at appropriate website by electronically filling it. PDF editor programs like the Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor can help you fill the PDF forms like IRS Form 4868. You will need to estimate the total payments for the year that you expect to report on your income tax return. You are also expected to estimate your total liability for the year that you expect to report on your tax return.

2. IRS Form 2350- Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return

You can only file use the IRS Form 2350 if you are a U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad Who Expect To Qualify for Special Tax Treatment or in a situation where your tax home is a foreign country throughout your period of bona fide residence or physical presence whichever applies. Note that the extension given to you if successful will likely be to a date 30 days after the date in which you are expected to meet either the physical presence test or the bona fide residence test.

irs form 2350

3. IRS Form 4768- Application for Extension of Time to File a Return and/or Pay U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Taxes

This IRS Form 4768 is only applicable if what you are paying is the U.S Estate taxes as an executor or someone other than the executor.

irs form 4768

4. IRS Form 5558- Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns

You can only use the IRS Form 5558 to apply for one time extension of time to file the form 5500 series which comprises the Annual report /return of employee benefit plan, Short form annual return/report of small employee benefit plan and the annual return of one participant retirement plan denoted as Form 5500, 5500-SF and 5500-EZ respectively.

irs form 5558

5. IRS Form 8809- Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns

You can only use the IRS Form 8809 to request an additional extension of time to file only the forms shown in line 6 of the current tax year on the form. The forms could be the W-2, 1099, 1097, 5498 etc Once you require more time to file any of these forms, you can apply for an extension using the form 8809.

irs form 8809

6. IRS Form 8868- Application for Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization Return

This IRS Form 8868 is used by an exempt organization to request an automatic three months extension of time to file its return and also apply for an additional three months extension if the original three months extension was not enough time.

irs form 8868

7. IRS Form 8892- Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Form 709 and/or Payment of Gift/Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

The IRS form 8892 can be used under the following situations. The first is to request an automatic 6 months extension of time to file form 709 if you are not applying for the extension of time to file the form 4868 or it can also be used to make a payment of gift tax when applying for extension of time to file form 709.

irs form 8892

Part 3: How to File a Tax Extension

There are 3 options to file a tax extension.

Option 1. Automatically processes an extension

If you're paying all or part of your estimated income tax due electronically via Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or a credit or debit card. You can get an extension automatically and don't have to file a separate extension form.

Option 2. E-file tax extension forms

You can use Free File to electronically fill out the tax extension form. Note that you should also pay your tax due. For Individuals, fill out Form 4868; for Businesses and corporations, fill out Form 7004.

Option 3. Print and mail tax extension form

You can also print and mail tax extension form to request a tax extension.

Tips for Filing Tax Extension Form

  • Filing for a tax extension is not necessary if you are due for a task refund. There will not be any penalty for filing past the April 18th deadline 2024 unless you owe money to the Internal Revenue Service. However, it is advisable to fill your task return irrespective of this because the longer you wait to file, the longer your task return.
  • Ensure that your personal information is completely accurate when filing IRS Form 4868. In addition to this, do not forget to send a payment for your estimated tax liability. It is unfortunate that many task payers fill out the form 4868 but always forget to remit the payment with it.
  • In situations where you will need more than six months to file your tax return, then it is important to include a note with form 4868 that explanations your situation and requesting for additional time to file. However, note that the IRS is strict on additional file time but special considerations may be given to taxpayers that live outside the country or for those serving in the military overseas. If this is considered, you may be given two more months to file which will put your tax return at December 15th.
  • The first part of the IRS extension form is the identification part. You are required to enter your name and address in the order in which they will appear in your tax return form. If you want to file a joint tax return, then you have to include your spouse name. It is important to note that in cases where you have changed your name after the last file return, then it is advisable to report this development to the social security administration SSA before proceeding to file Form 4868. This will help you in avoiding delays in processing your tax extension request.
  • Where you have changed your mail address after filing your last tax return, then it is important to notify the internal revenue service of the change with Form 8822. Note that simply showing the new address on your Form 4868 will not change your record.

The Pros and Cons of Filing a Tax Extension

The Pros of Filing Tax Extension

Before thinking of filing a tax extension, it is important to understand the pros and cons so as to make a good decision.

1. Reduction of Late Penalties

Filing a tax extension helps in the reduction of late penalties. For instance, it is important to note that IRS will impose a 5% penalty per month on any tax that is due plus half percent per month as a late payment penalty. Apart from that, there are other penalties associated with late payment, and filing a tax extension prevents it.

2. More Time to Finish Up

Filing a tax extension will give taxpayers an additional 6 months to finish up their tax return application. This is good since there may be hitches during tax seasons like waiting for the arrival of an important tax document.

3. Improve Accuracy of Your Return

Because of the rush in getting to file your return done before the deadline, there are high chances that mistakes could happen as a result of the rush. However, with a tax extension, you have additional time to look at it very well and ensure that everything is complete and fine before sending it.

The Cons of Filing Tax Extension

1. Eligibility Issues

The truth is that not everyone is eligible for tax extensions. For instance, some people in this category include those that got approval for an offer in compromise.

2. Extension Does not Mean Extra Time To Pay

It is important to note that extensions are only meant to give additional time to file your tax return not to pay your tax due by the original deadline. This means that taxpayers can file extensions to make their tax return and avoid penalties but any outstanding tax payment will still face a late penalty charge plus interest.

3. Married Couples Can't Switch From Joint to Separate Returns

Filing a tax extension does not give married couples any extra time to change from joint to separate returns. What this means is that married couples who file by the April deadline can amend their tax return in order to switch to separate returns.

Filing an extension is not difficult and this is an advantage. For individuals, you can always use Form 4868 for this purpose. If you are filing for an extension online, a confirmation code will be sent to you to confirm the IRS acceptance and extension granted.

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Margarete Cotty

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