As the April 17 deadline for submitting tax returns approaches, those who have yet to file start wondering if an extension on their tax returns is an option for them. Filing a tax extension is an option for individuals and business, though the rules for each can be different. And getting an extension only delays the deadline for filing, not for paying any taxes that may be owed. So how does filing for an extension on your taxes work?

Qualifying for a tax extension

Any individual or business can apply for an automatic 6-month extension of their tax returns. You don’t need to give a reason for the extension, but you do need to know the rules and deadlines that apply to you in order to avoid costly penalties.

Individuals requesting a tax extension will get an additional six months to file. This means a tax extension for an individual moves the deadline to file back to October 15, 2018. Businesses on the other hand get a 5 or 6 month extension, so it’s important to take note of the due date for your specific extension.

Tax extension forms

To file an extension for individuals, a Form 4868 will need to be filed. This can be done by mail or it can be e-filed through a variety of popular online tax services. Be aware that special rules might apply for those serving in a combat zone, a qualified hazardous duty area, or for those living outside of the United States.

Businesses and corporations filing for a tax extension will need to file a form based off their situation. Most will file a Form 7004, but those expecting a net operating loss carryback will have to file a Form 1138.

Anyone who won’t be able to file their taxes by April 17, 2018 can request an automatic six-month extension. Doing so is easy thanks to the ability to e-file the proper form. But keep in mind that the rules for one business may not apply to another, and that an extension does not push back the due date of any taxes owed.

If you’re looking for assistance with your taxes - including filing for an extension - the professionals at Tax Relief, Inc. can help. Connect with a tax expert today by emailing your questions to or calling 630-655-1040.