IRS Form 4868 Instructions for Individuals in United States

- Updated Jun 15, 2020 - 8.00 AM - Admin, ExpressExtension

Every individual in the U.S. must file Form 1040 annually with the IRS before April 15. In case you need more time to file your 1040 tax return, you can use Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and get an automatic extension period of 6 months.

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What is the purpose of IRS Form 4868?

IRS Form 4868 can be used by a U.S. citizen or a resident to request an automatic extension of time up to 6 months to file a U.S. individual income tax return.

Personal Tax Extension Form 4868

Who can file Form 4868?

Personal Tax Extension Form 4868 is due on April 15, 2021. Filing Form 4868 will extend the filing deadline to October 15, 2021.

Here is a step-by-step guide that you can follow to request a personal tax extension.

Instructions to Complete Form 4868?

These instructions will help you with completing the filing process of Form 4868.

Instructions to complete Part I of Form 4868 - Identification

Before entering the form details, you must start by providing the basic information.

Line 1: Name and address.

Enter your name(s) and address. If filing as a joint return, provide both the spouses’ names in the order in which they will appear on the return.

If there is a change in your name since the last time you filed taxes due to marriage, divorce, or any other reason, you must notify the change to the Social Security Administration (SSA) before filing Form 4868. If you don’t get the name properly registered with the SSA beforehand, your tax extension application process will be delayed or rejected.

If there is a change in the mailing address after you filed your last return, use Form 8822, Change of Address, to notify the IRS of the change. This process is necessary as entering the new address in Form 4868 will not update your records with the IRS.

Lines 2 and 3: Social Security Number(s)

While filing as a joint return, enter your Social Security Number (SSN) on line 2 followed by your spouse's Social Security Number on line 3 of Form 4868.

In case if you’re filing Form 1040-NR instead of 1040 as an estate or trust, you are required to enter your EIN instead of SSN on line 2. Also, in the left margin, next to the EIN, enter as “estate” or “trust.”

Instructions to complete Part II of Form 4868 - Individual Income Tax

Part II, Individual Income Tax of the form requires info on the tax details.

When filing extension Form 4868, you can round off cents to whole dollars. If you do round to whole dollars, then you must round all the amounts. To round the amounts, drop them under 50 cents and increase them from 50 to 99 cents to the next dollar.

Line 4: Estimate of total tax liability for 2020

Provide the total income tax liability for the year you expect to report on your 2020:

  • Form 1040 or 1040-SR, line 16.
  • Form 1040-NR, line 61.
  • Form 1040-NR-EZ, line 17.
  • Form 1040-PR, line 6.
  • Form 1040-SS, line 6.

If you have zero tax liability, enter "0" in line 4 on your 4868 extension Form.

Line 5: Estimate of Total payments for 2020

Enter on line 5, the total payments you expect to report on your 2020:

  • Form 1040 or 1040-SR, line 19 (excluding Schedule 3, line 10).
  • Form 1040-NR, line 71 (excluding line 66).
  • Form 1040-NR-EZ, line 21.
  • Form 1040-PR, line 11.
  • Form 1040-SS, line 11.

However, for Forms 1040-NR-EZ, 1040-PR, and 1040-SS, don’t include on line 5 the amount you’re paying with your Form 4868.

Line 6: Balance Due

Enter your total unpaid tax balance for the year. This amount must be calculated by subtracting Line 5 (Total 2020 payments) from Line 4 (Estimate of total tax liability for 2020).

If the amount shown on Line 5 is greater than Line 4, simply enter "0" in this field

Line 7: Amount You’re Paying with Your Tax Extension

After calculations in line 6, you can file for an extension even though you are not in the position to pay the Balance due amount in line 6. So, it is better that you pay as much as you can to limit the amount of interest you’ll owe. Also, you may be charged the late payment penalty for the unpaid tax from the regular due date of your return.

Line 8: Out of the Country

Check the box on line 8, if you’re out of the country on the regular due date of your return.

Line 9: Form 1040-NR or 1040-NR-EZ Filers

Check the box on line 9, if you didn’t receive wages subject to U.S. income tax withholding, and your return is due June 15, 2021.

Instructions to file Form 4868?

Form 4868 can be filed electronically or by paper

To file 4868 electronically, you can get started with an IRS authorized e-file provider like By E-filing, you get to know the status of your submitted forms instantly. Choose an Electronic filing method for quick, secure, and more accurate filing.

If you choose to file by paper, download Form 4868, fill in the necessary details, and then send it to the IRS by the address mentioned here.

How to File 4868 electronically with ExpressExtension

To e-file Form 4868, get started with an IRS authorized provider like ExpressExtension. Then follow our step by step instructions to complete Form 4868.

  • Enter your personal Details
  • Complete Form 4868 Details
  • Review your Form information
  • Pay and transmit directly to the IRS

Ready to File Individual Tax Extension Form 4868 Online?

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