Tax extension IRS automatically give without filing Form 4868 if you do this

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Six months tax extension IRS automatically grants you if you file form 4868 with them either electronically or by manually by post. You can request for automatic extension of time only and not extension of time to pay. For filing Form 4868, you can use free file program run by the IRS.

Tax extension deadline for 2021 is May 17, 2021 instead of 04/15/2021 for filing tax return for calendar year 2020 beginning 1st January 2020 on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. IRS also extended the deadline for Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana residents to June 15. These extensions are automatic and applies to filing and payments.

How to get automatic extension even without filing form 4868 ?

This is possible ! IRS on the Form 4868 itself writes that if filing form in 4868 not needed if you make payment of estimated tax using their electronic payment options.

You don’t need to file Form 4868 if you make a payment using our 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.

How does tax extension work ?

When you apply for tax extension IRS provides many benefits like :

  1. Obvious benefit of getting six more months to file your tax return.
  2. Six months added to usual due date to file tax return is extended.Therefore , you will not suffer any penalty for failure to file tax return if you tax return by the date of extension (10/17/2021 for tax year 2020 for which due date was 05/17/2021 . Get an idea of quantum of  your penal interest by using this failure to file penalty calculator.
  3. You also get more time to claim tax refund because , there’s a three-year deadline for receiving a refund . The time limit of 3 years is computed from  original filing deadline (for example May 15, 2021, for the year 2020). But if you applied for filing extension, the limitations to claim refund  is also extended by six months. Thus you be getting more time for refund claim
  4. Self employed taxpayers get extra time for  to fund a retirement plan because filing an extension provides self employed taxpayers with an extra six months to fund a SEP-IRA, solo 401(k) or SIMPLE-IRA plan for themselves
  5. You also get extra time to re-characterize an IRA contribution. So you can turn your traditional IRA contribution into a Roth IRA, or a Roth IRA contribution into a traditional IRA contribution by the extended due time.

6. You also get extra time for many other tax compliance such as deciding whether to take a Section 179 deduction or claim depreciation on equipment or, and whether to carryback or forward any business losses. Once you get filing extension, you also get extension to make those decisions.

3 Ways to Request  for Tax Extension Deadline

  1. First is the best way . Pay all or part of your estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension of filing date . You will get automatic extension without the need to file Form 4868.
  2. Second is to actually file Form 4868 electronically . For this , you can also use free file program or by seeking help of tax professional who uses e-file.
  3. Lastly , you can file a paper Form 4868 and enclose payment of your estimate of tax due.

Extra two months for USA citizen living abroad or resident alien

US citizen or resident alien who are living abroad can get an automatic 2-month extension to file tax return and even to pay federal income tax and on the regular due date of your return.Please read IRS guide for people  Living outside the United States

What about request for second extension for filing taxes?

The practice of granting second extension was stopped after tax year 2005 . At that point of time ,usual extension was for four months only and there was a chance to get further two months extension .But now you get six months initial tax extension by filing form 4868 so , no second extension can be obtained under IRC.

By Prashant Thakur

Prashant Thakur is a tax advisor . He has written two books on tax laws of India. He regularly writes on his paid-only website http://taxworry.com. He is learning about the Internal Revenue Code of USA as many of clients and readers are of India origin and also are tax resident of USA . So . solving their tax issues require reference to IRC of USA.