Your Takeaways:

  • Filing a joint tax extension gives you and your partner 6 additional months to file your tax return.
  • You must pay estimated taxes by the April 15th filing deadline, as an extension to file is not an extension to pay.

Putting together your own tax return can be stressful, but trying to collect all the information needed to accurately complete you and your spouse’s tax returns may seem near impossible! 

If you’re planning on filing a joint tax return with your partner, consider filing a joint tax extension to get extra time to prepare. In this guide, we’ll show you how to file a joint tax extension, why you might want to file an extension, and other important considerations. 

Why File a Joint Tax Extension?

You may wonder why you might need to file a joint tax extension. Aside from the obvious - that the tax deadline may have snuck up on you - there are several reasons to consider requesting additional time to file a joint tax return.

Complex Financial Situation

Filing a joint tax return means that you have to account for another person’s financial situation. That could mean multiple additional forms of income, new debts, and the potential for greater tax savings. All this new information may take time to sort through and digest, which means you may need more time to file your tax return. 

Missing or Incomplete Tax Documentation

While most employers and financial institutions will send you the forms you need to complete your tax return well before the filing deadline, the reality is sometimes they’re late. Even worse, sometimes the forms they send you are incomplete or inaccurate. 

If you or your spouse are late in receiving a tax form or need to dispute the form you’ve received, it’s best to request an extension. Disputing tax forms with your employer or a financial institution can be a lengthy process.

Life Events

While certain events like natural disasters or being out of the country for military service can get you an automatic extension from the IRS, other events may not. If you and your partner need extra time to file your taxes due to a family emergency or serious illness, it’s best to file a joint tax extension.

Man and woman sitting at a computer and working on a calculator

How to File a Joint Extension

Regardless of the reasoning, filing a joint tax extension gives you the extra time needed to accurately file your tax return. Follow the steps below to ensure that you accurately file your extension request, so it’s accepted by the IRS.

Calculate Your Tax Liability

In order to file a joint tax extension, you’ll need to have an estimate of your tax liability or the taxes you believe you’ll owe the IRS when filing your tax return. This will be the estimated liability for both you and your partner combined.

If, as a couple, your only source of income is through an employer and your employer automatically deducts taxes from your paycheck, then you may not owe taxes. However, any other income sources may result in the need to pay the IRS additional taxes. 

A good place to start is by referring to the previous year’s tax returns. If your financial situation hasn’t changed much from the previous year, then you should have a good estimate of what you owe the IRS without doing too much additional work.

Complete and Submit Form 4868

The quickest and most efficient way to file for an extension is through an e-file provider. helps you submit Form 4868 online so that you can receive your tax extension approval from the IRS as quickly as possible.

In order to file a joint extension, you’ll need the following information:

  • You and your spouse’s full legal names
  • Your address
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Your spouse’s SSN or ITIN
  • Your joint estimated tax liability
  • Payments you may have already made toward your liability

This easy-to-use form helps ensure that you fill out all of the information necessary to submit your tax extension so that you get approved quickly.

Pay Estimated Taxes

If you owe taxes to the IRS based on your estimated tax liability, it’s essential to pay those taxes when filing your extension. This helps you avoid any fees or penalties associated with failing to pay your taxes by the April 15th deadline.

If you can’t pay your taxes by the deadline, don’t ignore them. You have options to set up a payment plan or delay payment to help reduce penalties and interest charged by the IRS. Check out our article on handling taxes when you can’t pay by the extension deadline for all of your options.

A man and a woman work at a computer next to a man in a suit.

Important Considerations When Filing a Joint Tax Extension

While filing a joint tax extension has several benefits, there are things to consider to make sure that you’re making the most out of your additional time.

Extra Time to File Doesn’t Give You Extra Time to Pay

Regardless of whether you file a tax extension or not, any taxes that you owe the IRS are due by the tax filing deadline (typically April 15th every year). Therefore, you’ll need to pay both your and your partner’s owed taxes by the deadline to avoid penalties.

Use the Extra Time Wisely

Filing for a six-month joint tax extension doesn’t mean that you have to wait six months to file your taxes. Don’t continue to procrastinate on completing your tax return, or you may run into a tight situation when the deadline to file your taxes gets closer.

Use the extra time to comb through your tax return to look for potential deductions and credits. You and your partner may be eligible for extra deductions if you haven’t filed jointly in the past. 

State Tax Extensions

Some states require you to file a separate tax extension in addition to filing for a tax extension for your federal return. Make sure to check your state’s tax laws before the extension filing deadline.

Get Started Filing Your Joint Tax Extension Online makes it easy to quickly complete your tax extension form online and get approved by the IRS. If you’re ready, get started filing your joint tax extension online today

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