Extension of Time to File, A Step by Step Guide that gives you more time to File your Taxes

Special IRS Bulletin: I’m interrupting my scheduling programming for this alert. I had a definitive guide on solving tax problems scheduled to go out to the blog today to celebrate my 200th blog post, but I realized that April is only 2 days away.

That’s right, this Wednesday is April first, no fooling. Bad puns aside, I thought it would be a good idea to post some specific instructions on how to EXTEND YOUR DEADLINE FOR FILING TAXES. This is a good idea if you know you won’t be ready by the April 15th deadline. And it sneaks up on you fast. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Extension of Time to File, Step by Step Guide


Step One: Pull your head out the sand and get to work. There are more colorful ways to state this, but really, stop putting this off!

Step Two: File Form 4868 Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. (Available at IRS.gov)

Step Three: File this form by April 15, 2009. I’d recommend downloading the form and getting this out of the way NOW before your forget to do it later.


There you have it, three steps and it couldn’t be easier. But how do you know if you qualify? As always, I’ve got you covered:

Qualifying for an Extension of Time to File


To get extra time you must:

1. Properly estimate your 2008 tax liability using the information available to you
2. Enter your total tax liability on line 4 of Form 4868, and
3. File Form 4868 by the regular due date of your return.

Word of Caution: I’m not trying to mislead anyone. An Extension of time to File is not an Extension of Time to PAY taxes owed. No matter what, they’re due April 15th. If you do not pay on time you will be charged penalties and interest. Form 4868 does not extend the time to pay taxes.

If You Owe the IRS and you can’t pay by April 15th, I suggest getting in touch with a reputable tax professional or tax resolution company and discussing possible solutions. It’s vital to do this before you wind up with a huge debt on your hands.

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