Friday, April 10, 2009

Need a Filing Extension? Here's What to Do!

From the desk of the IRS:

If you can't meet the April filing deadline to file your tax return, you can get an automatic six month extension of time to file from the IRS.

Here is what you need to know about filing an extension:

  1. An extension will give you extra time to get your paperwork to the IRS, but it does not extend the time you have to pay any tax due. You will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April deadline, plus a late payment penalty if you have not paid at least 90 percent of your total tax by that date.
  2. If your return is completed but you are unable to pay the full amount of tax due, do not request an extension. File your return on time and pay as much as you can. The IRS will send you a bill or notice for the balance due. To apply online for a payment agreement, go to and use the pull-down menu under “I need to …” and select “Set Up a Payment Plan.” If you are unable to make payments, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to discuss your payment options.
  3. Request an extension to file by submitting Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, with the IRS by the April 15, 2009, or make an extension-related electronic credit card payment. For more information about extension-related credit card payments, see Form 4868.
  4. You can e-file an extension request using tax preparation software on your own computer or by going to a tax preparer that has the software. The IRS will acknowledge receipt of the extension request if you file by computer.
  5. You can use Free File Fillable Forms to file for an extension. You can access Free File Fillable Forms via the IRS Web site at
  6. If you ask for an extension via computer, you can also choose to pay any expected balance due by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal from a checking or savings account. You will need the appropriate bank routing and account numbers and must also have available the adjusted gross income from your 2008 federal income tax return to verify your identity. For information on these and other methods of payment, visit or call 800-TAX-1040 (800-829-1040).
  7. To obtain a copy of Form 4868 or other forms and publications use E-file tax preparation software, download them from or visit your local IRS office. Forms and publications can be ordered by calling 800-TAX-Form (800-829-3676). However, telephone requests normally take 10 days to fill and may not arrive before the tax deadline of April 15.

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