You need to make sure that your taxes are calculated and filed on time to stay on the right side of the law. However, meeting tax deadline can be difficult if you have a lot of things going on that keep you from filing your taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service reports that around 6% – 10% of people miss the deadline every year. More than 14 million of the self-assessment taxpayers, waited until the last minute to submit their return.

While the tax authorities have tried to make the filing process faster and the form easier to understand, it still remains technical enough that not everyone can breeze through it quickly. It is no surprise that a lot of people fail to submit their tax return on time because they do not understand how to complete the form or where to submit it.

What Is Tax Form 4868?

The IRS Form 4868 can be a solution for people who fail to submit their tax return on time. It is an application for the extension of the tax filing deadline and allows a person to file their income tax return in the U.S. after the 15th of April.

If you feel that you will not be able to file your federal income tax return on time, then you can submit a filled out 4868 form to the tax authorities. The application grants you an automatic, 6-month extension for filing taxes. To qualify, you must submit the Tax Form 4868 before the original deadline for filing the tax return has passed.

The tax extension granted through the form is only applicable for individuals who are reporting their income and taxes to the IRS. This includes taxpayers who are required to file the 1040s as well as contractors who submit 1099 forms. Single member LLCs and Sole Proprietor businesses can also get the extension. Partnerships or business corporations with more than one member cannot extend their deadline through form 4868.

Submission of the form will extend the tax deadline from April 15 to October 15. It applies to the tax returns filed on the forms listed below.

  • Tax Form 1040
  • Tax Form 1040A
  • Tax Form 1040EZ
  • Tax Form 1040NR
  • Tax Form 1040NR-EZ
  • Tax Form 1040-PR
  • Tax Form 1040-SS

You should note that the deadline extension is only granted for filing the tax return and does not apply to the payment of the tax itself. You will still need to give a reasonable estimate of your income tax due for the year and submit it with the return. However, you do get the option to pay the tax in full or make a partial payment of at least 90% of your estimated Federal Income Tax to avoid interest payment. Tax can be paid using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) facility from your bank account directly. You do not need to give a reason on why you need the extension.

Instructions on How to Complete Form 4868

Applying for a tax return extension is quite easy. You can apply by filling out an electronic version of form 4868 through the IRS e-filing program on their website. You can also print out the form, fill it by hand, and then send it to the IRS office via mail. The form itself is easy to understand and fill out. It has two sections. In part I, you will need to fill out your name, address, and social security number. If you are married, you will also need to include your spouse’s name, your joint residence address, and their SSN. If you changed your name or marital status since the last time you submitted the tax return, then be sure to report this to the Social Security Administration before filing the form. In part II, you will need to provide an estimate of total tax liability for the year and the total payments you have made. You are allowed to round off cents to dollars and all rounding must be done to the closest dollar amount. You will need to fill out the balance that is still due and the amount you are paying with the form submission. While it is possible to pay an amount less than 90% of your taxes due or even zero dollars, do note that you will be charged late payment penalty for any taxes that are not cleared on the due date. If you are a citizen or resident of the U.S. and out of the country, then you will need to provide that information as well. You will also need to report if you file the form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ and did not receive any wages subject to U.S. income tax laws.

Where to Mail Form 4868?

The IRS Form 4868 can be submitted electronically through the IRS e-file program on your home computer or through a tax professional who can submit the form for you online. You can submit the taxes through EFT when using this method. You can also post a check or money order to the IRS. Taxpayers are allowed to submit the extension form on paper and enclose your tax payment with the return. Tax payments can be made through a check or money order that is payable to the “United States Treasury”. Cash should not be used to make the tax payment. Depending on your state, the form and tax payment should be sent to the following addresses
If You Live InYou are making a payment with the form submissionYou are not making a payment with the form submission
Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, VirginiaP.O. Box 931300 Louisville, KY 40293-1300Kansas City, MO 64999-0045
Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, VermontP.O. Box 37009 Hartford, CT 06176-7009Kansas City, MO 64999-0045
Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West VirginiaP.O. Box 37911 Hartford, CT 06176-7911Ogden, UT 84201-0045
Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, TexasP.O. Box 1302 Charlotte, NC 28201-1302Austin, TX 73301-0045
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, WyomingP.O. Box 7122 San Francisco, CA 94120-7122Fresno, CA 93888-0045
Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, WisconsinP.O. Box 802503 Cincinnati, OH 45280-2503Fresno, CA 93888-0045
A foreign country, American Samoa, or Puerto Rico, or are excluding income under Internal Revenue Code section 933, or use an APO or FPO address, or file Form 2555, 2555-EZ, or 4563, or are a dual-status alien or are a nonpermanent resident of Guam or the U.S. Virgin IslandsP.O. Box 1302 Charlotte, NC 28201-1302 USAAustin, TX 73301-0215 USA
All foreign estate and trust Form 1040NR filersP.O. Box 1303 Charlotte, NC 28201-1303USA Cincinnati, OH 45999-0048
USA All other Form 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR, and 1040-SS filersP.O. Box 1302 Charlotte, NC 28201-1302 USAAustin, TX 73301-0045 USA