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Filing an Extension for your Federal Tax Return 

March 20, 2020 update from the  U.S National Treasury:

In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, the deadlines to FILE and PAY federal income taxes are extended to July 15, 2020.  This relief applies to all individual returns, trusts, and corporations. This relief is automatic, taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify. This relief also includes estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 that are due on April 15, 2020. Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of July 16, 2020. You will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by July 15. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline can still request a filing extension for time.


Running late to file your Federal taxes? We’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about filing for a tax extension for your Federal taxes.

Traditionally, Federal tax returns are due on April 15 or the first business day after. However, life doesn't always go according to plan. That's why the IRS grants you an automatic six month extension to file your taxes each year.How do you know if filing an extension for your federal taxes is right for you?

Here are a few common reasons why you may need to push your deadline back:

  • More time needed to track down missing tax documents
  • Unexpected life event
  • Life’s been too busy

Individuals Filing an Extension on Time for Their Federal Taxes:

For sole proprietors filing for a tax extension, this process is pretty simple. You’ll need about 30 minutes and a form called the IRS Form 4868. Fill it out. When you’re done, choose the best method to go about filing. We’ve listed the 3 available options with additional details below. Before you file your extension for time, know that filing an extension to your taxes (the paperwork) is not an extension to pay your taxes (the money you owe the IRS). Even if you do receive an extension, you’re still required to pay your estimated taxes by the original due date. If you don’t pay on time, you’ll face a late payment penalty.

IRS Form 4868

4868 Form Raleigh Tax Service CPA

Make a payment to file

You can get an extension by paying all or part of your estimated income tax due, just indicate that your payment is for an extension. You can us Direct Pay, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or a credit or debit card. Once you're done, you'll receive a confirmation code. Also, make sure you file your extension by Oct. 15.

E-file your extension form for free

Wallet's in the car? No problem. Tax filers can use Free File to electronically request an automatic tax-filing extension.

If you're old-fashioned and you'd rather mail your extension directly to the IRS, that works too. Complete and print out the  and send it to the IRS address for your state. Once your extension is approved, you’ll have until October 15, 2020 to file your return. If you’re expecting a refund, it will not be processed until once you have completed your tax filing. If you think you owe, the estimated amount of taxes due will need to be paid to the IRS by July 15, 2020.


For Businesses Filing an Extension For Federal Taxes

For all businesses, including corporations, S corporations, and multiple-member LLC businesses filing as partnership), corporations, or S corporations the process looks pretty much the same, however,  you'll need a different form to file an extension Form 7004.

IRS Form 7004

IRS Form 7004 Tax Service Raleigh

Don't Forget Extensions on State Income Taxes

States that have state income tax have different rules for extending the state return. Some states may go along with the IRS extension, while others (New York, for example) require you to file a separate extension. Check with your state's taxing authority to make sure you are complying with your state's requirements for filing an extension.

Additional Tax Resources

Still not sure how to go about filing for an extension for your taxes? You can find more information here: IRS Extension Filing.

Carson Thorn CPA

Carson Thorn, CPA is the owner of C. E. Thorn, CPA, PLLC, and has over 30 years working in accounting. Have more questions? Great, we're here to help. If you're a small business located in Raleigh, NC, contact us and we can help you file your extension for Federal Taxes for your small business today! Call  919-420-0092 or fill out the contact form below.

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