Filing an Extension

Tax Filing Extension

As we are nearing the end for regular tax filing, we thought it would be a good time to talk about filing an extension – Just in case …

Remember – that the extension to file NORMALLY is not an extension to pay taxes and penalties and interest may still apply.

There are 3 types of normal extensions for individuals:

Automatic 2 Month Extension

6 Month Extension

Extension to Claim Foreign Income Exclusion

Let’s take a quick look into each of these

Automatic 2 Month Extension – If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien AND on the regular due date of the return you are either

  • Living outside the United States and Puerto Rico
  • You are in Military service and Duty Station is outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico

Married Taxpayers note – If you file a joint return, only one of you need to qualify for the automatic extension.  If you file separate returns, then the extension only applies to one of you.

If you serve in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area there is more information on the IRS website at Pub 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide

6 Month Extension – If you are not able to file your return by the due date, you must file IRS Form 4868.  This form can either be mailed or e-filed.  The form must show your properly estimated tax liability based on the information you have.   AGAIN – Time to pay is not extended and interest will be charged on any unpaid amount.  The penalty is generally waived if the estimated amount paid is at least 90% of the total tax due.

Extension to Claim Foreign Income Exclusion – You generally cannot get an extension of time to file of more than 6 months. However, if you are outside the United States and meet certain tests, you may be able to get a longer extension.  You must meet all of the below

  • You are a U.S. Citizen or resident alien,
  • You expect to meet either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test, but not until after your tax return is due, and
  • Your tax home is in a foreign country throughout our period of bona fide residence or physical presence

This type of extension is generally only 30 days beyond the date on which you qualify.  To get this extension you should file IRS form 2350

If you want to discuss extensions or have any tax questions, give us a call at 989-859-0346.  We would love to work with you.