How to Defer Filing Taxes

You can defer filing your federal tax return by requesting an extension of time to file. The extension allows you to defer filing your taxes for six months, but there is a catch: You are required to pay your total tax liability when you request the extension. Requests for extensions are due on the annual date for filing tax returns -- generally April 15 -- or by the regular due date of the return for fiscal year taxpayers. Tax payers who are out of the country when their taxes are due are allowed two extra months to file and then pay any amount due without requesting an extension.

Estimate how much you will owe on your tax return -- if anything. Do this by actually calculating your tax liability or making an estimate.

Get a copy of IRS Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Visit the website to view and print a copy (see Resources).

Fill out the form and mail it to the address listed on the form -- along with a check for your balance due. File your actual tax return within six months.


  • The IRS reports that you are not eligible for an automatic six-month extension if you want the IRS to figure your tax, or you are under a court order to file by the regular due date.


About the Author

Robert Lee has been an entrepreneur and writer with a background in starting small businesses since 1974. He has written for various websites and for several daily and community newspapers on a wide variety of topics, including business, the Internet economy and more. He studied English in college and earned a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Governor's State University.