How to File for a Tax Extension

Last year, the IRS expected to receive more than 10 million requests for deadline extensions. That’s more than the population of most states!

If you’re among the some ten million people who procrastinated this year, don’t worry. An extension will give you another six months to file, and it’s not too late to request an extension of your own.   

Filing for an extension is easy, and there are three ways to do it.

The first and easiest way is to use e-file.  Both TurboTax (Stock Quote: INTU) and TaxCut (Stock Quote: HRB) will allow you to file for an extension.  You can use Free File if you qualify.

The second way, if you don’t have software and aren’t using Free File, is that you can file a paper request.  Just fill out Form 4868 (pdf) and mail it today.  Be sure to include your Social Security number, and if you think you owe more taxes than your employer withheld this year, include an estimated amount in Part II of the form.  You don’t have to be precise—an educated guess is sufficient.  Finally, don’t forget to request a return receipt at the post office.  This is important because like any large organization, the IRS loses things.