Not Ready to File by April 18?

Not Ready to File by April 18?

This year, the federal tax filing deadline for taxpayers in most states is delayed from April 15th to April 18th because of Emancipation Day. In Massachusetts and Maine, it’s not until April 19th because of Patriot’s Day. Some other states that have been impacted by federally-declared disasters, like Kentucky, and Colorado, have even longer to file.

Despite the delay, the tax deadline can sneak up on you. If you’re in a panic because you haven’t started gathering your tax documents, you can relax. You can request a tax filing extension to postpone until October 15th. You don’t need to provide a reason for needing the extension, but it does take a little time to get it done right and avoid possible underpayment penalties.

Here are three tips for getting an income tax filing extension:

  1. You Must Apply

Individuals can request a tax filing extension by filing IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, online at the IRS website, via approved tax software, or in paper form. It must be sent or postmarked no later than midnight on the original due date. The extension is automatically approved if a refund is expected or if the estimated amount due is paid with the extension request.

  1. Pay Amounts Due

Use the IRS Form 4868 instructions at to estimate your 2021 income tax liability. Compare your estimated taxes to your tax withholding or quarterly estimated payments and enter the numbers on the extension request. If you owe more in taxes than you’ve paid in, the balance due must be paid with the extension request. Failure to pay the amount due results in an underpayment penalty and interest accrued daily on the unpaid balance.

  1. Check Your State

Each state has its own set of rules and processes for its residents to request an income tax filing extension. Check your state’s tax department website for deadline updates and links to information about requesting an extension of time to file your 2021 income tax return.

Rushing at the last minute is stressful and causes mistakes, especially with an already-stressful activity like filing your income tax returns. Get more time to file your 2021 federal taxes by requesting a tax filing extension. Go to the IRS website at for details and help estimating any taxes you owe with the extension request.