How to File a Business Tax Extension

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There may be a number of reasons why you might not be able to file your tax return on time. Maybe there has been a complication. Or perhaps you've struggled to track down records.

If there is any possibility you can't file your return on time, then apply for an extension. The IRS charges a penalty for filing late, which is usually five percent of the taxes you owe for every month the return is overdue.

The deadline for returns is April 17. An extension moves this deadline to September 15. That means if you're still late in filing, your penalties start from the September deadline.

Does this talk of penalties scare you? Never fear! The Internal Revenue Service has an extension you can apply for instead.

Beware that the payment deadline remains the same, even if you get an extension. So you can file later, but you can't pay later.

Interested? Read on to discover how to file a business tax extension.

How to File a Business Tax Extension Online

No matter why you want to request an extension, you're going to need either Form 4868 or Form 7004.

Form 4868 is for businesses on Schedule C. That's usually sole owners or single-member LLCs.

Form 7004 applies to corporations and partnerships. Most corporations get automatic approval for extensions.

If you want to file online, then you have a few options.

Much of the software developed to help you prepare your taxes has an option for filing extensions. Both the home business and personal versions of the software include Form 4868. Only the business software grants access to Form 7004.

You can access a digital version of the IRS extension form through their website to request an extension online. Head to the Free File link to find out more.

Or you can ask your tax preparer to apply for an extension for you.

File an Extension Offline

If you prefer not to do everything online, the IRS still accept applications by mail.

Simply print off either Form 4868 or Form 7004, and complete the form by hand. Mail it to the IRS as far in advance as you can.

Remember items can and do get lost in the mail, so only use this option if you have no way of filing an extension request online.

Make sure you keep copies of any records, such as tax write-offs, ready for the return of your taxes.

Get Expert Help If You Need It

Now you know how to file a business tax extension. But sometimes it can help to bring in the experts to give you a guiding hand.

Professionals know the pitfalls of dealing with the IRS. They can make the process run smoothly and easily.

Feel like you need more advice with extensions? Click here to find out about our free consultations. We're ready to help you.