As a tax attorney, I am commonly asked about filing an extension for 1040 individual income tax returns. Many people need to file extensions for different reasons, and the article below has been drafted to provide general information regarding filing for an extension.
If you need an extension to file your 1040 individual income tax returns, you would file Form 4868, which is an application for an automatic extension to file your 1040 individual income tax return. Generally, the extension is for 6 months but can differ depending upon an individuals circumstances. The deadline to file Form 4868 is the due date of the return. Thus, the deadline to file Form 4868 for your 2013 1040 would be April 15, 2014. If you are granted the 6 month extension, you would then have until October 15th to file your 1040 individual income tax return.
It is very important to note that the extension is an extension to file your tax return, and not an extension to pay your taxes. Thus, if you do owe taxes on your 1040 tax return, you may be subject to interest and penalties. Filing the extension will prevent the accrual/assessment of the failure to file penalty, given you file your tax return by the extended due date.
Form 4868 requests information such as your name, address and social security number. You also need to state the estimate the total amount of tax due for the tax year, the amount of tax you have already paid and thus any remaining amount due. You do not need to make a payment when submitting your application for extension, but making such payment could prevent the accrual and assessment of certain types of tax penalties and interest.
You can e-file Form 4868 or mail the form. The instructions for Form 4868 will list addresses to mail the form to based upon where you live and if you are making a payment with the application request. Generally, the IRS will not allow an extension greater than 6 months. Thus, if you do request an extension, it is best to make sure that your tax return is filed on or before October 15th. Failure to timely file your 1040 individual income tax return can lead to the assessment of the failure to timely file penalty. The failure to timely file penalty can be as much as 25% and can max out in 5 months. Thus, it does not take long to add a substantial penalty to your tax bill if you owe taxes and file your return late.
If you have tax questions or issues, you can speak with a Denver tax attorney at The McGuire Law Firm. A tax attorney can assist you with matters before the Internal Revenue Service, tax planning and other tax questions and analysis. The McGuire Law Firm offers a free consultation to all potential clients and has offices in Denver, Colorado and Golden, Colorado.