How to Get a Tax Extension in 2024


tax extension

When the regular tax filing deadline of April 15 rolls around each year, it can be stressful and overwhelming for many taxpayers. You may need extra time to find out how to file self-employment taxes or simply gather important documents. Fortunately, you can get a tax extension if you miss the tax deadline.

Getting a tax extension in 2024 is easy and straightforward and can provide you with extra time to get your taxes done correctly. There are many tax extension myths, but here is the tax extension information you really need to know.

What is a Tax Extension?

A tax extension is essentially a formal request filed with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) seeking additional time to prepare and submit your tax documents. It could also serve as a way for individuals and businesses to gather comprehensive information on the nuances of filing taxes.

Submitting an extension request provides taxpayers – both individuals and businesses, a crucial grace period. This extension is particularly beneficial as it allows them more time to ensure their financial documentation is in proper order before submitting their state and federal tax return. It facilitates a meticulous review of all financial transactions, ensuring accuracy and adherence to tax regulations.

Tax Extensions for the 2023 Tax Year

Tax extensions for the 2023 tax year are available to everyone. For most, an IRS extension will give you an extra six months to file your taxes and set up a payment schedule to pay your tax bill in full before the deadline.

In certain special cases, the rules for tax extensions are a bit different. Military service members who are currently in a combat zone will have 180 days after they return to the U.S. to file their tax returns as well as to pay any tax owed.

Another special case is if you are a U.S. citizen living abroad. You will be given an extra two months in order to file any taxes. In this case, you will still be required to pay interest on any taxes you owe that have not been paid by the due date.

For more information about extensions available, you can refer to the IRS website or speak to an accountant.

Are there any Penalties for Filing an IRS tax Extension?

Although the IRS generally does not impose a penalty for filing an extension, it is crucial to ensure you file the extension form ahead of the April 15 deadline.

Failure to comply with this stipulated deadline might result in a late filing penalty or a late payment penalty applied to your outstanding balance. Therefore, maintaining strict adherence to this deadline can help avoid unnecessary financial implications.

It’s particularly crucial to request the extension before the original due date to circumvent any potential penalties.

The Late Payment Penalty

In the event that you file your federal taxes late, the IRS is authorized to impose a late payment penalty. This equates to 0.5% of your tax liability, and this fee accrues each month until the taxes are fully paid. The penalty, although seemingly minimal, can accumulate quickly, significantly increasing your overall tax liability.

The Late Filing Penalty

The IRS also imposes a late filing penalty, which amounts to 5% per month or part of a month that your owed taxes are past due. This penalty can dramatically increase your tax burden if not addressed promptly, however it will not exceed 25% of the unpaid taxes.

Given the potential for these penalties and fees to rapidly accumulate, it’s crucial to submit your return within the designated extension period and make your tax payment before the deadline.

How to File an Extension for Taxes

Understanding the correct procedure to file a tax extension is essential. By ensuring it’s done correctly, you can save yourself considerable stress and potential complications in the future.

Let’s delve into the steps necessary to file a tax extension accurately and efficiently.

1. Gather the necessary information

You need to have your basic personal details readily available. This includes your social security number, full legal name, address, and date of birth. Additionally, a copy of your previous year’s tax returns can be instrumental while filling out your extension form, as it can serve as a handy reference.

2. Complete IRS Form 4868

This form should be filled out with all the pertinent information. It is readily available online or through a tax professional. Be mindful to include the correct estimation of taxes you anticipate owing for the upcoming year.

3. Submit Form 4868

Ensure you submit your completed extension request ahead of the filing deadline. Remember that these deadlines can vary for state and federal taxes, so be sure to confirm the specific deadline for your state.

4. a partial payment on taxes owed

If you owe money to the IRS, it’s crucial to make at least a partial payment when requesting an extension to avoid accruing interest and penalties. This payment must be made by the stipulated deadline.

5. File before the extension deadline

After your extension request is approved, the remaining step is to file your tax return before the extended deadline. This will protect you from any potential penalties or fees that could diminish your hard-earned income.

Tax Extension Rules

The process of filing an extension can be daunting. Fortunately, the IRS has certain rules and guidelines in place to facilitate a smoother process.

These rules extend from military members stationed abroad to U.S. citizens living overseas. Here is a summary of general tax extension rules and additional pertinent information.

Deployed Military Members

Active military personnel deployed in a combat zone receive an automatic extension for filing their taxes, which extends to at least 180 days after their service concludes. Additionally, they will not be subjected to interest and penalties on any taxes due, provided they file their returns within this period.

U.S. Citizens Living Abroad

U.S. citizens residing abroad can also apply for a six-month extension to file their taxes. To avail of this, they must file a form titled “Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return” by the deadline.

Individuals who are out of the country on the due date may be eligible for an automatic extension. To apply for this, they need to submit Form 2350 to the IRS. This form must be postmarked by the filing deadline to ensure a valid extension.

Tax Return Rejections

In cases where your electronic tax return is rejected by the IRS, you are typically given an opportunity to amend it and resend. Rejections commonly arise due to inaccurate or incorrect information entered on the form. This underlines the importance of thorough review and validation of all information before submission. If the rejection happens after the April 15 tax deadline, you’re granted an additional five days to rectify errors and resubmit the return.

Tax Extension Tips

Taxes can often present a daunting task to many people. Filing for an extension on your taxes, however, can help alleviate some of the stress associated with the tax season by providing additional time to gather and process the necessary information.

Here are five key tips designed to help streamline the filing process:

  • Consider Making An Installment Payment Plan: You may qualify for an installment plan if you’re unable to pay in full—just be aware that interest will accrue until the balance is paid off in full.
  • Keep Up With Updates From The IRS: Stay updated on any changes made by the IRS regarding deadlines or extensions throughout the process. This is very important as it can save you from a lot of problems.
  • Pay Attention To State Deadlines As Well: Don’t forget that state tax deadlines may be different from federal tax deadlines.
  • Contact Tax Professionals for Assistance: If needed, contact a tax professional for help with preparing and filing your tax extension. They will be able to provide you with valuable advice and guidance.
  • Use Electronic Filing Options: Electronic filing options, like Free File or e-file, allow taxpayers to quickly and easily submit their returns so they can meet deadlines more efficiently.

Your Tax Return: The Bottom Line

Ultimately, applying for a tax extension in 2024 is a straightforward process. Simply demonstrate to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that you have legitimate extenuating circumstances, such as a natural disaster or military deployment.

Once your request is approved, you’ll be granted an extension allowing you to file your taxes at any point up to six months after the original due date.

How long is a tax extension?

If you require additional time to file your U.S. individual income tax return, you can request an extension of up to six months. There are three available options for seeking this automatic extension.

However, it’s important to remember that you must submit your extension request before the regular due date of your return to avoid attracting late filing penalties.

Can you file for a tax extension online?

Absolutely, filing for a tax extension online is a modern convenience that can greatly streamline the process. Renowned tax software providers such as H&R Block and Turbo Tax offer comprehensive solutions designed to facilitate this. These software options are equipped with user-friendly interfaces and instructional guides that can assist you in successfully filing for a tax extension.

In addition, the IRS offers an online service named IRS Free File. This platform not only allows taxpayers to submit their tax returns electronically but also provides the functionality to request a federal tax filing extension without any charges. This makes the process much more accessible and easy to navigate.

Can I File an Extension and Not Pay Taxes?

It’s crucial to remember that the obligation to pay your taxes remains firm, even if you file for an extension. The extension provides you more time to complete and file your tax documents, but any due taxes must still be paid by the original deadline.

If you’re uncertain about the precise amount you owe, making an estimated payment can be a wise move. This prevents any late payment penalties and interest from accruing. However, bear in mind that failing to pay your taxes, whether an accurate or estimated amount, could result in penalties and additional interest charges.

Can you get a tax extension beyond October 15?

One common question taxpayers often have is, “Can you get a tax extension beyond October 15?” The answer to this is typically straightforward.

Under normal circumstances, no further extensions are available beyond the extended deadline, which is usually Oct. 15.

If for some reason you find yourself unable to file by Oct. 15, it is recommended that you reach out to the IRS for further assistance. The IRS can provide guidance and may even offer penalty relief in certain circumstances if you demonstrate that you genuinely are unable to file on time.

Comparing Methods of Submitting a Tax Form

Choosing the most efficient and convenient method to file a tax extension can make the process less stressful and more manageable. This often depends on individual needs and circumstances. Here is a comparison table illustrating the different methods available for filing a tax extension.

E-FilePaper FileTax Software (e.g., TurboTax, H&R Block)
Speed of FilingFastSlowFast
Ease of UseHighModerate to LowHigh
Confirmation of ReceiptImmediateNo immediate confirmationImmediate
Availability of Help or Customer SupportLimitedLimitedExtensive (depending on the provider)
CostFree (through IRS Free File)Free (postage costs for mailing)May have costs depending on the software package
Ability to Pay Taxes Owed OnlineYesNoYes
Availability of ExtensionsYesYesYes

Image: Depositphotos

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Samantha Lile Samantha Lile is a staff writer for Small Business Trends as well as freelance writer and journalist who contributes to a variety of web publications from her home office in the heart of the Ozarks.

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