IRS Form 4868 – Extension of Time to File

2017 Form 4868
Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service
Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
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Purpose of Form
Use Form 4868 to apply for 6 more months (4 if out of the country) to file Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR, or 1040-SS.

There are three ways to request an automatic extension of time to file a U.S. individual income tax return.
1. You can pay all or part of your estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or using a credit or debit card.
2. You can file Form 4868 electronically by accessing IRS e-file using your home computer or by using a tax professional who uses e-file.
3. You can file a paper Form 4868 and enclose payment of your estimate of tax due.

  • Qualifying for the Extension
    To get the extra time you must:
    1. Properly estimate your 2017 tax liability using the information available to you,
    2. Enter your total tax liability on line 4 of Form 4868, and
    3. File Form 4868 by the regular due date of your return.  April 17, 2018  for 2017 tax returns.

Although you aren’t required to make a payment of the tax you estimate as due, Form 4868 doesn’t extend the time to pay taxes.  If you don’t pay the amount due by the regular due date, you’ll owe interest. You may also be charged penalties. Any remittance you make with your application for extension will be treated as a payment of tax.
You don’t have to explain why you’re asking for the extension. We’ll contact you only if your request is denied.
Don’t file Form 4868 if you want the IRS to figure your tax or you’re under a court order to file your return by the regular due date.

  • File a Paper Form 4868
    If you wish to file on paper instead of electronically, fill in the Form 4868 and mail it to the address shown on page 4 of the instructions.
    For information on using a private delivery service, see page 4 of the instructions.
    Note: If you’re a fiscal year taxpayer, you must file a paper Form 4868.

IRS e-file is the IRS’s electronic filing program. You can get an automatic extension of time to file your tax return by filing Form 4868 electronically. You’ll receive an electronic acknowledgment once you complete the transaction. Keep it with your records. Don’t mail in Form 4868 if you file electronically, unless you’re making a payment with a check or money order. Complete Form 4868 to use as a worksheet. If you think you may owe tax when you file your return, you’ll need to estimate your total tax liability. Several companies offer free e-filing of Form 4868 through the Free File program. For more details, go to and click on freefile.

Pay Electronically
You don’t need to file Form 4868 if you make a payment using the IRS electronic payment options. The IRS will automatically process an extension of time to file when you pay part or all of your estimated income tax electronically. You can pay online or by phone.

E-file Using Your Personal Computer or Through a Tax Professional
Refer to your tax software package or tax preparer for ways to file electronically. Be sure to have a copy of your 2016 tax return—you’ll be asked to provide information from the return for taxpayer verification. If you wish to make a payment, you can pay by electronic funds withdrawal or send your check or money order.

Gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax return (Form 709).  An extension of time to file your 2017 calendar year income tax return also extends the time to file Form 709 for 2017. However, it doesn’t extend the time to pay any gift and GST tax you may owe for 2017. To make a payment of gift and GST tax, see Form 8892. If you don’t pay the amount due by the regular due date for Form 709, you’ll owe interest and may also be charged penalties. If the donor died during 2017, see the instructions for Forms 709 and 8892.