There is no doubt that the upcoming tax deadline can be stressful. The deadline for filing your 2018 returns is the 15th of April. However, if you think you need more time to prepare your tax returns, you always have the option to file a six-month extension. For that, you need to file form 4868 to the United States Internal Revenue Service on or before April 15, 2019.
Filing an extension does not diminish a deadline to follow, it means you now have until October 15th, 2019 to file your taxes. If you are considering this option, filing an extension is relatively easier than you think.
Here is all you need to know:
How to File a Federal Extension
Form 4868 is an Application for Automatic Extension of Time. The filing process is simple and can be submitted electronically or by mail.
You will need to fill out certain details, including name, address, social security number, and your spouse’s details if applicable. In addition, it is important to note that an extension to file your return does not grant you an extension to pay the taxes due (if any). This means that you will need to estimate your total tax liability for 2018 and pay that amount on April 15 along with the extension filing. Be sure to consult a tax professional if you do not know how to calculate your liability. Failing to cover your 2018 liability by April 15, 2019 could lead to penalties and interest tacked onto your 2018 tax bill.
Form 4868, like other forms, is readily available on the official IRS website. As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need help filing.
When it comes to state extensions, each state works according to its own tax filing requirements.
For example, states like California, Alabama, and Wisconsin offer an automatic six-month extension to all taxpayers. Some states require taxpayers to file a specific form before the original due date of the tax return. Some states don't impose any state income tax, so there is no need to file a return nor an extension. Make sure you are following your state rules in addition to Federal laws. If you are unsure of your state rules, a tax professional or your state .gov website will provide you with the information needed.