An Extension to File is Not an Extension to Pay

April 01, 2014 by Karen Reed, EA
Tax Extension

If you cannot file your return by the due date, you can request an extension of time to file. But it’s important to keep in mind that filing for an extension of time to file does NOT give you an extension of time to pay your tax bill. If you do not pay by the due date, you will owe interest on any past-due tax, and in addition you may be subject to a late-payment penalty.

To receive an automatic six-month extension of time to file your tax return, file Form 4868 by the due date. It’s a good idea to include in the payment you send with your extension request any additional amounts you might owe.

The rules vary for state filing extensions. Check your state’s requirements.



Karen Reed, EA


During her years as an audit representative for TaxAudit, Karen successfully defended the company’s members throughout the entire federal and state audit processes, handled cases assigned to US Tax Court, and developed procedures to make the audit process easier for taxpayers. Karen attributes a great deal of her tax acumen to the six tax seasons she spent as a return reviewer, analyzing thousands of returns. Responding in writing to questions from taxpayers, she became familiar with the common mistakes self-preparers make. Karen was previously the manager of the Tax Education and Research Department and the Director of Communications at TaxAudit. Her tax advice has been featured in U.S. News and World Report, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications.


Recent Articles

Double Taxation written on notepad
Most states that have income taxes offer a credit for taxes paid to another state on the same income, although how that credit is calculated is not identical.
File Cabinet with Documents
IRS notice CP05A is sent by the IRS to inform taxpayers that they need more information about the submitted income tax return before a tax refund can be issued.
Father and son baking cookies
You received an IRS CP87A because someone else filed a tax return and claimed the same dependent or qualifying child that you claimed on your tax return.
Man worried about money
Per the collection statute expiration date, the IRS generally has 10 years from the date they assess your tax balance to collect taxes owed.
This blog does not provide legal, financial, accounting, or tax advice. The content on this blog is “as is” and carries no warranties. TaxAudit does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the content of this blog. Content may become out of date as tax laws change. TaxAudit may, but has no obligation to monitor or respond to comments.