Your Takeaways:

  • You can get a 6-month extension to file your taxes by submitting IRS Form 4868, giving you until October 15th to file your return.
  • Filing for an extension electronically through a service like provides instant confirmation that your extension request was received.
  • While an extension gives you more time to file, it does not extend the deadline to pay any taxes you owe, which are still due by April 15th.

How to File For a Tax Extension

IRS Extension Form 4868

To file for a tax extension, you’ll need to fill out IRS Form 4868, also known as the “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return.”

This form can be submitted in several ways: by mail, with the assistance of a tax professional, tax software, or with the help of a dedicated e-file provider.

When you file a tax extension, you get an additional six months until October 15th (depending upon the current year’s tax deadline) to file your federal tax return.

What are the Benefits of Filing a Tax Extension?

Some of the major benefits of filing a tax extension include:

  • Avoiding penalties – Filing for an extension helps you avoid the massive 5% per month failure-to-file penalty. Taking a few minutes to file a tax extension could end up saving you thousands in the long run.
  • Taking extra time to make elections – If you’re waiting until close to the April 15th deadline to start your tax return, you may not have enough time to thoroughly consider all of your available credits and deductions. Filing an extension gives you extra time to see what you might qualify for and ensure that you’re getting every tax deduction and credit available to you.
  • Improving the accuracy of your return – Even a small mistake on your tax return could cost you big time if the IRS catches it. Taking extra time to comb through your return for potential mistakes and errors is a huge benefit to filing an extension.
  • Reduce preparation fees – Some online tax-filing services and tax accountants may increase the prices of their services in March and early April (as you get closer to the filing deadline). If you file an extension, you can wait until the prices drop to get a quality accountant or access to filing software potentially at a discount.

Most of the benefits of filing a tax extension can be summed up with one word: time. A tax extension gives you the extra time you need to properly file your tax return without being penalized.

How to Track Your Tax Filing Extension

Currently, the IRS does not offer a dedicated tool to track the status of a tax extension.

However, one of the beauties of filing electronically, either by yourself or through a dedicated IRS e-file tax preparer like, is that you receive an immediate electronic acknowledgment once the IRS accepts your extension.

If you don’t submit your extension through an online service provider and instead send your extension request via mail, the only way to confirm that your extension has been received and accepted is to call the IRS, which may be time consuming and difficult.

Does the IRS Deny Tax Extension Requests?

The IRS generally does not deny tax extension requests.

However, there are some instances where the IRS may ask you to revise an extension request, including for a:

  • Typo in your date of birth or social security number
  • Wrong or mismatched address

If the IRS rejects your extension, you will receive a notice from the IRS informing you of the decision. You can correct the error(s) and resubmit your extension (as long as it is before the filing deadline).

Are Tax Extensions Automatic?

If you file your tax extension accurately (i.e. without errors) and by the filing deadline, your tax extension will likely be approved. If you want immediate confirmation, you should use an online filing software that checks for errors and notifies you as soon as your extension is approved.

What Happens if My Tax Extension Is Not Approved?

If your extension is not approved and you fail to file your taxes by the filing deadline, then you will have to pay the failure-to-file penalty.

The failure-to-file penalty is a whopping 5% of the taxes owed per month that your tax return is late, capped at a total of 25% of your total taxes owed. 

If you file an extension, you will not incur the failure-to-file penalty, as long as you file by October 15th, or 6 months after the original tax-filing deadline.

Tracking Automatic Extensions

In some specific instances, taxpayers are granted an automatic tax extension without needing to actually file for one.

There is no way to “track” these automatic extensions because they are automatically approved. However, you’ll need to know the key dates for these extensions and when you’ll need to file your return to avoid penalties. 

Military Members

If you serve in the military, you may qualify for an automatic extension to file your taxes if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • Those on active duty outside of the United States are granted an automatic two-month extension to file their taxes.
  • If you are serving in a combat zone or are hospitalized outside of the United States, you have 180 days from leaving the combat zone or from when you are discharged from the hospital to file your tax return.

In both instances, as long as you attach a statement explaining how you qualify for the automatic extension when filing your tax return, you should not need to take any further action and will not be penalized for filing late.

Disaster Victims

If the IRS determines that you live in a disaster area, then you may qualify for an automatic extension. The additional time and extended due date of your tax return varies based on the area you live in. 

To check if you live in an area that qualifies for an extension as a result of a natural disaster, visit the IRS Disaster Relief Page

Expats Living Outside of the US

If your primary residence is outside of the US, but you still pay US taxes, then you may qualify for a two-month automatic extension. However, determining if you actually qualify for the automatic extension can be difficult. Therefore, in these instances, it may be best to file for an extension regardless to ensure you avoid any potential penalties.

How Do I Track the Status of My State Tax Extension?

Most states automatically extend the due date of your state tax return with the approval of your federal extension request. However, some states require a separate form to request an extension for your state tax return. Therefore, you will want to check your state’s tax site for information on tracking the approval of the extension.

What Should I Do With the Extra Time?


Here's how you can make the most of the extra time you get after filing a tax extension:

Gather Your Documents: Begin by assembling all of your tax-related documents, such as W-2s, 1099s, and receipts for deductions. Having all your documents readily accessible ensures a smoother, more accurate tax return process. This will also make it much easier and faster to file your return when you’re ready to do so.

Consider Professional Help: If you’re dealing with complex tax issues, such as self-employment income, itemized deductions, or rental properties, it might be time to enlist the help of a tax professional. They can guide you through the intricacies of tax law, optimize your tax return, and even uncover deductions you might have missed (which can help save you money in the long run).

Filing Your Extension With Confidence: IRS

One of the best ways to ensure your application is filed accurately and on time is by submitting your tax-filing extension request through Our convenient platform is designed to streamline the process, allowing you to file Form 4868 quickly and easily.

One of the primary benefits of using is receiving immediate confirmation that your extension was filed. This feature provides peace of mind, ensuring you’re not left wondering whether your request was received.

Additionally, offers an intuitive interface and dedicated support, making the entire tax extension filing process as stress-free as possible.

Get started here.

Filed Under:

See what some of the hundreds of thousands of satisifed customers have to say about our services:

Levi C
Levi C


I got approved within a couple days for my tax extension filing through these guys and they responded to my email the same day. Great customer service and fast results. Give them a shot.


Great Service!!

This is the second year that I used this service. Each time, the process was quick, easy and efficient. I will definitely be using this service in the future and will recommend it to friends and family.


Fantastic Site!!

The process was so easy. I processed this extension in a matter of minutes! For you last minute filers out there, come here. It'll help you end your long day in peace!

File your extension today!
Get Started