“Filing a 2024 Tax Extension: The Best 5-Step Guide” or “5 Simple Steps to File a 2024 Tax Extension: A Top Blog Post

Photo of author
Written By kevin

A financial strategist with a knack for demystifying taxes and insurance, Kevin distills complex concepts into actionable advice.

Tax season is upon us, and if you’re running behind schedule or need more time to fulfill your tax obligations, filing for an extension might be the right choice for you. A tax extension, provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), grants taxpayers who require additional time to file their tax return beyond the usual deadline of April 15th.

What is a Tax Extension?

A tax extension is a provision that allows taxpayers to submit their documents beyond the standard deadline without incurring penalties or fees, provided they meet specific requirements. This extension is particularly beneficial in cases of personal emergencies, family illnesses, complicated tax situations, or business-related factors.

How to File a Tax Extension: Step-by-Step Guide

For instance, let’s consider a real-life example. John, a small business owner, had a hectic first quarter with unexpected business opportunities and challenges. Amidst all this, he couldn’t gather all the necessary documents to file his taxes. By filing a tax extension, he was able to avoid penalties and get his paperwork in order.

Why File a Tax Extension?

There could be several reasons why someone may need additional time. For instance, you might be dealing with personal emergencies or family illnesses that prevent you from gathering the necessary documents in time. Alternatively, you might have a complicated tax situation that requires more time to sort out, or there might be business-related factors that delay your ability to file.

According to IRS data, in 2023, approximately 15 million taxpayers filed for an extension. This data shows that if you need to file an extension, you’re not alone.

How to Apply for an Extension of Time to File

Filing for an extension is a straightforward process that involves four simple steps:

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Not everyone qualifies for filing an extension on their taxes; therefore, it’s crucial that you check eligibility before beginning the process. The quickest way to confirm eligibility is through the IRS FreeFile platform. It helps in determining income limits and allows taxpayers access to software tailored according to IRS parameters suited according to personal needs.

Step 2: Collect Documents

After verifying that you qualify, collect all necessary financial documentation such as W2s forms, paystubs from employers, and relevant bank statements before starting the filing process of your income taxes. We recommend all clients being represented professionally have previously reviewed documentation with licensed professionals prior to presenting under penalty of perjury representing accuracy truthful representation ahead of completing the application submission process.

A common mistake to avoid here is waiting until the last minute to gather your documents. Start early and ensure you have all the necessary paperwork.

Step 3: Submit Form 4868

Once everything has been gathered together properly, you can request more time for paying taxes by submitting Form 4868 by mail. Filing electronically can be done through the IRS FreeFile using any of the software in accordance with individual personal circumstances.

Step 4: Pay Any Remaining Tax Liability

Filing an extension does grant additional time to prepare and file your return, but it doesn’t subject you to penalty-free taxes if any owed after the April 15th deadline. Estimated total liability must be paid by the set due date, these dates vary according to jurisdictional location and when applicable global locations including consular locations.

A practical tip here is to estimate your tax liability as accurately as possible to avoid any penalties.

What Happens After You File a Tax Extension?

After you’ve filed your tax extension, it’s important to continue gathering your tax documents and preparing your return. Remember, the extension only gives you more time to file, not to pay. If you owe taxes, you should estimate the amount and make a payment to avoid potential penalties and interest.


Tax season is a stressful time of year for many individuals and businesses alike. But with this step-by-step guide on how to file a tax extension, you’ll have the confidence that you need to handle what lies ahead. The key takeaway is to plan accordingly, collect all necessary documentation beforehand, and have a method established concerning estimated liability being carefully considered before requesting an extension. Anything less could cause unwanted burdens which may take years or longer towards releasing yourself from future unmet financial obligations regarding fees interest penalties associated with noncompliance. With proper planning, filing an extension might just be one of the simplest things you do this tax season!


What is a tax extension and why would I need one?

A tax extension gives you more time (usually six months) to file your federal income tax return. You may need an extension if you don’t have all the necessary documents or information to complete your return by the regular filing deadline of April 15th.

How do I request a tax extension from the IRS?

To request a federal income tax extension, file Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) either electronically or by mail before the April 15th deadline. If applying online, you will receive an acknowledgment number that confirms receipt of your application.

Does requesting a tax extension also extend my payment deadline if I owe taxes?

No, filing for an extension only gives you more time to submit your completed return – not any payments owed. If you anticipate owing taxes but can’t pay in full by April 15th, it’s important to estimate what you owe and make partial payments as soon as possible to avoid interest and penalties on unpaid balances.


**Q:** *When is the deadline to file a 2024 tax extension?*

**A:** The regular tax filing deadline for individuals in the United States is April 15, 2025. However, if you can’t finish your tax return by this date, you can request for an extension. A tax extension gives you six more months—until October 15, 2025—to file your tax return.

**Q:** *What documents do I need to submit when requesting a 2024 tax extension?*

**A:** To file a tax extension, you simply need to submit Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. There is no need to send any additional documents with your extension request initially. Remember, though, that while the extension grants you extra time to submit your tax return, you should still aim to pay any owed tax by April 15, 2025, to avoid potential interest or penalties.

**Q:** *How do I file a 2024 tax extension electronically?*

**A:** You can file for a tax extension electronically through the IRS Free File program (available for applicants with an adjusted gross income of $73,000 or less) or commercial tax software. Both methods typically allow you to request an extension online and pay any owed taxes, if necessary. Ensure you follow the steps carefully within the IRS guidelines and keep your confirmation number as proof of a timely request.

If you are unable to access these methods, you can still file a paper extension by mail. The IRS suggests mailing Form 4868 and payment (if due) by April 15, 2025. This way, if your paperwork is lost or delayed in transit, your extension request is still considered timely

Categories Tax