Extensions of Time to File Your Tax Return

You may request up to an additional 6 months to file your U.S. individual income tax return. There are three ways to request an automatic extension of time to file your return. You must request the extension of time to file by the regular due date of your return to avoid the penalty for filing late. An extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. You may file your extension in any one of three ways listed below. Note: Fiscal year taxpayers may file extensions only by filing a paper Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return):

  1. Pay all or part of your estimated income tax due and indicate that the payment is for an extension using IRS Direct Pay, EFTPS: The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or a credit or debit card. You'll receive a confirmation number for your records.

  2. E-file Form 4868 using your personal computer or through a tax professional who uses e-file.

  3. File a paper Form 4868. See the Form 4868 for more details.


Out of the Country – You're allowed two extra months (generally until June 15) to file your return and pay any tax due without requesting an extension if you're a U.S. citizen or resident alien, and on the regular due date of your return you're either:

  1. Living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico, and your main place of business or post of duty is outside of the United States and Puerto Rico, or

  2. In military or naval service on duty outside of the United States and Puerto Rico.

For additional information, refer to Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. If you use this automatic 2-month extension, you must attach a statement to your return explaining which of the two situations qualify you for the extension. You'll still have to pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return. You can also receive an additional 4-month extension of time to file (or, a total of six months) if you file Form 4868 and check the box on line 8 to indicate that you need an additional 4 months to file your return. The additional 4-month period is not an extension of time to pay.

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