6 Reasons to File a Federal Tax Extension


6 Reasons to File a Federal Tax Extension

The IRS gives you until April 15 every year to file and submit your tax returns. Despite this generous deadline, you may find it difficult or impossible to get your taxes done on time this year. 

Rather than avoid filing completely, you can request an extension for filing your taxes. These top six reasons for filling out IRS Form 4868 to request a tax filing extension could convince you that this is the right move for you and your taxes this year. 


Unexpected Events in Life

As the tax deadline approached this year, you may have found yourself dealing with unexpected events in your life. These circumstances may have caught you off guard and made you forget all about filing your taxes on time. 

Depending on the circumstances, the IRS may grant you a tax filing extension. Some of the unexpected life events that qualify for this extension include: 

  • death of an immediate family member like a spouse or child
  • divorce
  • illness
  • disability
  • being the victim of a natural disaster like a tornado

These occurrences may have left you struggling to deal with everyday life let alone filing your taxes. You can file for an extension by October this year by explaining the circumstances on IRS Form 4868

More Time to Gather Paperwork 

Employers, stock brokers, and others in charge of documenting your income are supposed to mail out your income earning statements by the end of January. However, when these documents are not delivered to you in time, you may need to request an extension from the IRS. You might be missing important documents like: 

  • W-2s
  • 1099s
  • 1095s
  • bank statements

Without these documents, you cannot file an accurate return. You may be forced to file an amended return later and possibly miss out on refunds to which you are entitled. Rather than submit an incomplete return, you can ask the IRS to grant you a six-month extension to file your taxes later this year. 

Your Broker Sent You the Wrong Information

If you are a serious investor, you understand the importance of claiming your investments on your tax returns. You rely on your broker to send out the correct 1099s to you well before the April 15 filing deadline. 

When your broker has made a mistake and sent you the wrong information, you may have no choice but to file for a tax extension. You cannot risk filing with the wrong information and possibly increasing your tax liability. You need your 1099 to have the right numbers on it so that you receive full credit for your investments. 

Rather than risk having to file an amended return later, it makes sense for you to complete the Form 4868 to request an extension for filing your taxes. Your broker will have until October to correct the 1099 and get you the right information on the forms needed to file your investments as part of your earnings.

You are an Expat Living Overseas 

Even if you move and work overseas, you are still obligated to file and pay your yearly IRS taxes. The fact that you do not live or work on American soil does not exempt you from meeting the April 15 deadline each year. 

However, filing as an American citizen living abroad can be complex and time consuming. You may not have easy access to online forms like taxpayers at home. Further, you may have to file other forms to claim foreign income that you are earning. 

You also may not have lived overseas long enough to claim the foreign earned income exclusion, which can total up to $100,800. When you want to claim this exclusion and lower your tax burden, you should request a tax filing extension. 

Even though you live overseas, you still should take advantage of American tax pro services. You can get in contact and work with a tax pro via email, phone calls, or perhaps through Skype or FaceTime. Your tax pro will know what forms you need to file and also help you request an extension for filing your taxes this year. 


Out of Town During Tax Season

Some people are simply not at home or in their hometowns when tax filing season rolls around. This especially can be the case for people who travel to warmer climates during the wintertime. Snowbirds and retirees may spend much of the winter away from home during a time of the year when they should otherwise be filing their taxes. 

You can still travel during the winter without jeopardizing your tax returns by requesting an extension from the IRS. You can file and submit your returns when you get home in the spring or summer. 

The tax filing deadline can catch you off guard. When you know you cannot meet this deadline, you may need to request an extension from the IRS. An extension will give you another six months to file your tax return for this year.guide-download-banner