Filing an Extension for Tax Deadlines – Why and How You Do It

Apr 10, 2024Tax Planning, Business Tax, Individual Tax0 comments

Getting set up for success to file your taxes in 2024

Filing an Extension for Tax Deadlines – Why and How You Do It

The major tax deadline we all know and love is April 15. That being said, those who file for an extension have until October 15th to prepare their federal tax return. Why extend the deadline? The most common reason for this is to allow more time to carry out financial tax planning strategies for themselves or their businesses. Read on to learn more about tax deadline extensions.

Who should file for an extension?

There are many circumstances beyond strategic financial planning in which a person may need more time filing a tax extension. Situations such as significant life changes, a personal emergency, or missing documents are all valid reasons why a person may need an extension. Keep in mind the IRS does not require you to explain why you need an extension. They will only contact you in the case that your request is denied, which is not common when properly executed.

When is the deadline to file an extension?

You must apply for the extension on or before the original April 15th deadline.

Do you get more time to pay?

You do not get any more time to pay. You must estimate your tax liability and make your payment by the original April 15th due date. Or by the next business day if April 15th  falls on a weekend or legal holiday. If paying by mail, your payment will be considered on time if it is postmarked on or before the day it’s due.

Is there a penalty for filing for an extension?

The IRS will not penalize you solely for filing an extension. However, if you miss the payment deadline (April 15), you are subject to interest charges on your unpaid balance. You are also subject to 0.5% of the amount owed each month in addition to the interest.

How do you file for the extension?

You or your tax professional will need to fill out IRS Form 4868. If you’d rather go paperless, this can also be done through e-file, the IRS’s electronic filing program.


Filing an extension for tax deadlines is common among individuals and tax professionals to allow more time to carry out tax planning strategies. In no way will you be penalized for doing so, but always be sure to pay (if you think you owe) by the original April 15th due date. 

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***Legal Disclaimer***Lifetime Tax Advisors assumes no responsibility for the or liability for any errors or omissions or the results obtained from the use of this information. The information provided is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for any advisory, tax, or other professional advice, consultation or service. Consult your own professional to see how this information applies to you. All information on this site is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness. Any tax advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used as an analysis of tax-related issues nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties. In no event will Lifetime Tax Advisors be liable to you for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information on this site.


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