Can I file Form 4868 after April 15?

Can you file for an automatic extension of time to file a federal income tax return after the deadline? A tax extension gives taxpayers six more months to file their federal income tax returns, but due to the already postponed deadline (May 17), a tax extension doesn’t grant that much time to file a return. Regardless of the tax filing deadline for the tax season, the extension pushes the deadline to October 15. 

What about filing for an automatic extension after the deadline passes? Sadly, the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t allow that. 

A taxpayer who needs to file an extension must do it before the original filing deadline. If you haven’t filed your federal income tax return after the original date, you will hit with a penalty too. On top of what’s owed to the Internal Revenue Service, you will pay failure-to-file penalties. However, if you don’t owe taxes, you won’t pay a penalty but you won’t get your tax refund until you do so. Having said that, be quick to file your federal income tax return whether you file for an extension or not. 

Filing an extension online and Form 4868

If the original filing deadline hasn’t passed, you can file an extension right away and the fastest way to do it is through making an online payment and selecting the reason for payment as an extension. The IRS Direct Pay, the payment channel that the agency accepts payments directly from taxpayers allows filing an extension and paying taxes at the same time. Even if you don’t owe taxes, you can make a minimum payment and file an extension while doing so. 

Although filing for an extension through Direct Pay is an easy task, taxpayers who are using a tax preparation service to file tax forms can opt out for Form 4868. All you need to do is provide IRS with a few information such as the total amount of tax liability, taxes paid, and amount due, if any. It takes less than five minutes to complete and file Form 4868 through popular tax preparation services.

Be quick to file your federal income tax return if you haven’t placed an automatic extension of time to file it, or file it as soon as possible before the deadline arrives, as you won’t be able to afterwards.  

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