We all plan to file our tax returns by the April deadline. In some cases, however, filing on time is impossible. When circumstances prevent your tax return from being postmarked by the filing deadline, it is necessary to apply for an IRS extension. An IRS extension will prevent late fees from being assessed on your tax payment, which can be costly.
An extension is only necessary if your return will be filed after the deadline. If you can file your return, but not pay the entire amount due on your tax bill, an extension is unnecessary. In this case, file your return on time and promptly contact the IRS to arrange a payment plan. Reasons for an extension include being out of the country, being incapacitated at the time a tax return is due, or needing more time to gather proof of deductions and credits you wish to take on your tax return.
Filing for a tax extension is not a difficult process. It is a simple matter of filling out IRS form 4868 and mailing it. The form can also be completed online, and your tax professional can submit it for you if necessary. An extension will offer you an additional six months in which to file your return without being penalized for filing late. Extensions are automatically granted, and you will not need to provide a reason for the request. If the situation is truly an emergency, you may be granted an additional two month extension after the six months have expired, but you will need to personally speak with the IRS and explain your reasoning in order for this type of extension to be granted.
Extensions from the IRS are a must for anyone not able to file their tax return on time, regardless of the reason. It prevents late fees being assessed to your tax bill and shows the IRS that you do intend to file the return eventually. Whether you are out of the country, need more time to file, or are otherwise indisposed, an IRS tax extension can be an invaluable way to delay your income tax filing requirement.