How to File for a Federal Income Tax Extension

Filing federal income taxes can be very mind-numbing if you are running out of time and the deadline is fast approaching. You may have enough money set aside to pay your income tax, but uncertainty and unexpected problems can cause you to send the tax return by the deadline. The problem is not just limited to time and unexpected events that stop you from filing your tax return, but there are times when you do not have enough money and really want extension.

Federal government is pretty strict about tax collections, but if you have genuine problem, you can file for extension.


  • 1

    The website of Internal Revenue Service is your platform for tax filing and returns. All you have to do is visit the website and have a look at related forms and important links. Remember, Internal Revenue Service handles most of its correspondence and tasks online or through its website, so you do not have to reach its office in person and get the forms for extension, you can download all the relevant documents and send them by email or online.

  • 2

    Go to the link “Forms and Publications” on the Internal Revenue Service website and download Form 4868. Once you have downloaded Form 4868, you can then click the tab “Extension Forms” to get further details and more relevant forms. To help you send your extension request to the specific department at the Internal Revenue Service, there is another worksheet (form) titled “Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Income Tax Return.” Download this form and fill it out according to the guidelines mentioned on the website.

  • 3

    Once you have filled out the form and sent to the given email address on the website, you will be informed by the Internal Revenue Service of extension. You can get a six-month extension to file your Federal income tax. Generally, the Internal Revenue Service allows you a 2-month extension after the original deadline and you do not have to apply for extension by sending request.

  • 4

    Use preparation software if you have and send the request. If you do not have this software you can get services of a professional tax preparer and use the software to apply for extension. Internal Revenue Service accepts receipt of extension request by computer.

  • 5

    Another way to apply for income tax extension is to use free file forms. Go to the home page of Internal Revenue Service website and click the tab “Free File: File your return for free.”

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