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What is Form 4868?

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The Purpose of the IRS Form 4868

The Form 4868 - officially known as Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return - is used to apply for 6 more Months(4 if “out of the country” (defined on page 2) and a U.S. citizen or resident) to file Form 1040, 1040-A, 1040-NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR or 1040-SS.

To Qualify for the Extension

To get the extra time you must:

  • Properly estimate your 2018 Individual Income tax liability using the information available to you
  • Enter your total Individual Income tax liability on line 4 of the Form 4868
  • File the Form 4868 by the regular due date of your individual tax return.


Although you are not required to make a payment of the tax you estimate as due, Form 4868 does not extend the time to pay your Individual Income taxes. If you do not pay the amount due by the regular due date, you will owe interest. You may also be charged penalties. Any remittance you make with your application for extension will be treated as a payment of tax.

When to File

File the Form 4868 by April 15, 2019. Fiscal year taxpayers, file Form 4868 by the regular due date of the return

Length of Extension

Generally, we cannot extend the due date of your return for more than 6 Months(October 15, 2019, for most calendar year taxpayers). However, there may be an exception if you are living out of the country.


You will owe interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return, even if you qualify for the 2-Month extension because you were out of the country. The interest runs until you pay the tax. Even if you had a good reason for not paying on time, you will still owe interest.

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