Tax returns are normally do to be filed by April 15th of the year following the tax year. Most people can meet this time but if you can’t there are options afforded to you by the Internal Revenue Service.
For individuals you are allowed an automatic 2 month extension to file your return if: you are living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of business is outside the United States and Puerto Rico or, you are in the military service and are outside the united States and Puerto Rico. In order to receive the two month extension you must attach a letter to your return and explain which of the two reasons stated qualifies you for the extension.
There is also an automatic 6 month extension available if you need it. Unlike the 2 month extension for the 6 month extension you must file form 4868 with the Internal Revenue Service the form must be filed by the deadline for the return which is April 15th in most cases.
If you file the 2 month extension and then realize you need more time you can file for a 4 month extension to get you the 6 month extension. However you must file form 4868 before the deadline of the two month extension.
When you file one of the extensions above you need to know how it affects your taxes. The 2 month extension allows you more time to pay your taxes. The 6 month extension however only allows you more time to file. You must pay any taxes you owe prior to the filing deadline or at least make an honest estimate. If not you will have to pay interest on the amount you owe Nd possibly pay penalties as well.
You may read publication 17 provided by the Internal Revenue Service for more information regarding the rules of extensions for individual returns. There are extensions for corporations and trusts as well.
Form 7004 which is an application for automatic 6 month extension of time to file certain business income taxes and other returns.
Form 1138 which gives an extension to corporations expecting a net operating loss carry back.
There are also other rules effecting an extension for military and married couples. You should checkout the Internal Revenue Services website at www.irs.gov. You can view forms and qualifying rules on-line or request a copy be sent to you in the mail.