How do I file an extension (Form 4868)?
There are a couple of ways to file your federal extension with the IRS.
Start by searching inside your TurboTax program for the word extend. Then click the Jump to extend link and follow the on-screen instructions.
Another way is with TurboTax Easy Extension. Easy Extension is a standalone service that can be used by anyone with a U.S. or APO/FPO/DPO address.
Finally, you can download Form 4868 from the IRS website, print it out, complete the form, and mail it in before the deadline. Complete instructions are on the printout.
Important: Filing an extension does not give you additional time to pay owed taxes, which are due April 15 (or June 15 for taxpayers out of the country). If you can't pay owed tax by the deadline, always file an extension so you can at least avoid the late-filing penalty, which is up to 10 times higher than the late-payment penalty.
If you used TurboTax Easy Extension to e-file your tax extension or you do not plan to use TurboTax to file your state tax return, click here for state-specific extension instructions.
Otherwise, open your state return in TurboTax by clicking State Taxes and then proceed through the state program interview.
Look for an option to file your state tax extension; some state programs will have this at the beginning of the state interview, whereas in other state programs it appears towards the end.
To estimate your 2014 tax liability, you can use the figures calculated by TurboTax or TaxCaster 2014, our free tax calculator.
Start by entering as much of your 2014 tax return data as you can, using the info you have. Don't be afraid to "fudge" missing or unknown numbers for estimation purposes. You can always update those when you get ready to file.
For example, if you know you made $2,000 after selling stock, but you're still waiting for your broker to send you a corrected Form 1099-B, just enter a dummy stock sale with proceeds of $2,000 and a cost basis of 0.
If your estimate indicates that you don't owe, or are due a refund, we still recommend filing an extension in case your estimate proves to be wrong. Because late-filing penalties are up to 10 times higher than late-payment penalties, filing your (free) extension is cheap insurance indeed!
Watch this short video for more information.
- Does an extension give me more time to pay my taxes?
- Do I need to file an extension if I'm getting a refund?
- What if I can't pay my taxes?
- How do I finish up in TurboTax after filing an extension?
- What if I missed the April 15 filing deadline?