The last day to file taxes is April 15 on normal terms. However, taxpayers can extend the deadline to file taxes. While the April 15 deadline can be pushed back to October 15, taxpayers must pay taxes by April 15. The tax extension only gives an extra month to file a tax return, not pay. We’ll explain an in-depth guide to filing a federal income tax extension.
All taxpayers are obligated to pay taxes by April 15 whether they file an extension or not. Since the tax liability of a taxpayer isn’t known before the tax return is filed, any unpaid tax needs to be estimated. Any unpaid tax must be paid before April 15 or the taxpayer will incur late-payment penalties even with the tax extension. If you’re in doubt that you will owe taxes when you file your tax return, make sure to pay slightly more than what you’ve estimated so you avoid these penalties.
Here is how to file an extension step-by-step with different methods.
File extension with tax payments
Taxpayers can file a tax extension and pay any expected tax liability at the same time. The Internal Revenue Service allows taxpayers to make tax payments online using one of the payment channels, Direct Pay. All you need to do is point out the reason for making the tax payment. However, the tax payments can be made through Direct Pay using only bank accounts. The payment channel only accepts payments with bank accounts, not with credit cards or debit cards. So you must pay the IRS with your bank account in order to file for an extension through Direct Pay.
Learn more about how to pay taxes online.
Form 4868 – Tax extension form
If you don’t have any tax liability to pay up, you can file your extension by filing Form 4868. This is a simple tax form where you will detail your estimated tax liability. Since you don’t have any tax liability, you can just enter $0 there and move on with the rest of the form. Aside from estimated tax liability, you’ll only need to provide your personal information.
It’s possible to file Form 4868 electronically and by mail. Regardless of how you file it, you’ll get an extension for six months, pushing the tax filing deadline further in time to October 15.