The IRS requires that all tax returns be filed and all tax paid on or before (or postmarked by) April 15th. However, taxpayers who are not able to file the return by the due date have the option of filing an extension. The extension usually gives the taxpayer until October 15th to file the tax return. Once that deadline has passed, the taxpayer faces additional penalties if the return is not filed. Fortunately, filing taxes after an extension is a fairly simple process.
How to File Taxes After Extension Date
File your return online using tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax or complete the paper return and mail it to your local IRS processing center. If you are not sure which office processes returns for your area, log on to IRS.gov for a complete list of addresses.
Pay the tax you owe. The extension you filed provided more time to for you to file the return without being assessed a failure to file penalty. Now that the extension deadline has expired, you will be assessed the failure to file penalty in addition to the failure to pay penalty and any interest owed on the tax. It is, therefore, in your best interest to pay the tax owed as soon as possible. Make your check or money order payable to the Department of Treasury and include your name, social security number, date of birth, and series number (1040 if personal return and 940 if a business return) on the check. If you cannot afford to make the payment in full, complete Form 9465 to request an installment agreement. Be advised that there is $105 fee to set up the agreement unless you elect to have the IRS debit the monthly payments directly from your bank account, in which case the fee is $52.
Complete IRS Form 843 to request that the penalties assessed to your overdue tax be abated. The IRS will consider an abatement if there was a reasonable cause for filing your return late, such as illness or incarceration. If you request an abatement due to reasonable cause, the IRS may request supporting documentation. For example, if you claim that the reason you could not file your return on time was because you were ill, the IRS may request a letter from your physician or copies of your hospital bills. The IRS will also consider an abatement of penalty for taxpayers who have a history of filing timely tax returns.
If you do not owe the IRS, there is no need to file an extension. Penalties and interest are only assessed on taxes owed.
The extension to file is not an extension to pay. Even if you are approved for an extension, it only mitigates your failure to file penalty, not your failure to pay penalty.
Be advised that penalties and interest continue to accrue even if you have set up an installment agreement.
- If you do not owe the IRS, there is no need to file an extension. Penalties and interest are only assessed on taxes owed.
- The extension to file is not an extension to pay. Even if you are approved for an extension, it only mitigates your failure to file penalty, not your failure to pay penalty.
- Be advised that penalties and interest continue to accrue even if you have set up an installment agreement.
Denise Caldwell is a finance writer who has been writing on taxation and finance since 2006. Her articles appear regularly on websites such as Gomestic.com and MoneyNing.com. She has taken what she learned while working at the IRS to provide readers with helpful tax and finance tips. Caldwell received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Howard University.