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How to File for a 2023 Tax Filing Extension — Form 4868

No matter how hard you try, circumstances can sometimes lead to you missing the IRS tax filing deadline. Maybe you're still looking for the receipts for some business deductions you know you want to take. Maybe you had a personal emergency, or the Silicon Valley Bank collapse disrupted your tax filing plans. No matter what your situation is, you can easily extend the deadline by getting a tax filing extension.

Filing taxes on time is even more critical when you work for yourself as a freelancer, independent contractor or 1099 employee. That's because you have to do everything from keeping records of your expenses to keeping track of all the necessary tax forms and all tax deadlines.

If you can't make it in time for the 2023 tax filing deadline, the IRS will cut you some slack by allowing you a six-month tax filing extension.

What's a tax filing extension?

The IRS gives taxpayers more time to file their tax returns by making a tax filing extension an option for anyone, no questions asked. Many self-employed taxpayers often confuse it with an extension on paying their taxes, but they are not the same. In fact, there is no option to pay taxes late. A tax filing extension doesn't allow you to delay your estimated tax payments; it just buys you more time to file your annual tax return.

There's no penalty for extending your tax filing before the April 15 deadline, but not paying your estimated taxes will attract some harsh penalties. The penalties depend on how much tax you didn't pay and for how long.

What are the 2023 IRS tax extension deadlines?

The tax filing deadline for 2023 for single filers, married couples filing jointly and heads of household is April 18, 2023.

For companies that are S corporations or partnerships, the deadline is March 15, 2023. If these entities want to apply for a six-month extension, they can do that on the same date without attracting any penalties if they have already paid the correct amount of tax.

Infographic entitled Tax filing Extension Deadlines to Know, has four main deadlines for individual tax return, S-corps, single-member LLCs and for FUTA tax return.
Top Tax filing deadlines

Alt text: Infographic entitled Tax Filing Extension Deadlines to Know, showing deadlines for individual tax returns, S-Corps and partnerships, single-member LLCs and FUTA tax returns.

For single-member LLCs, the last date to file a tax return is also April 18, 2023, with the possibility of extending the deadline by six months to October 17, 2023.

The IRS also has March 31, 2023, as the deadline for employers to file their annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return or FUTA. This tax is paid to the federal government and is used to provide unemployment benefits to workers who lost their jobs.

[H2] How to extend the tax filing deadline [H2]

To extend your tax filing deadline by six months, you need to file Form 4868. Here are the different ways to find, fill and file it:

Paper method: You can manually fill out and file Form 4868, also called the application for an automatic extension of time to file the US Individual Income Tax return.

Here's a link to the IRS form 4868, which you can download and print, then fill out and mail to the IRS with a check for your estimated tax payment. When the IRS receives the form with your personal tax information and the amount, they will automatically extend your tax filing date by six months.

This method takes time, and the form needs to reach the IRS before the deadline. For this reason, it's best to use the online method.

Online method: There are two ways to file for an extension online. The first is by paying your estimated taxes and indicating that the payment is also for a tax filing extension. This is a much quicker method because you can pay using IRS Direct Pay. You can also use your credit or debit card to make the payment.

The second method is for those who have already paid their estimated taxes in full and want an extension. They can file a 4868 electronically using the IRS e-file feature. If you need to learn how to use an IRS e-file, you can contact a FlyFin CPA, who can guide you through the process and file for an extension on your behalf.

FlyFin CPA Team

FlyFin CPA Team

With a combined 150 years of experience, FlyFin's CPA tax team includes tax CPAs, IRS Enrolled Agents and other tax professionals, offering users the most comprehensive tax advice and preparation.

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