Extension of Time to File, Step by Step Guide

There's still plenty of time to file your Taxes before the deadline in April, but if you feel like you won't make it in time, it's possible to file for an extension to file your taxes. Here's the 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.