How do I e-file the request for a 6 month extension for an individual federal return?
Extensions are generated from the EXT screen (Other Forms tab). An extension does not extend the time to pay tax due. We recommend that you e-file as early as possible before the deadline to ensure a timely filing.
The IRS extended the individual deadline for tax year 2020 to 5/17/2021.
Taxpayers in TX, LA, and OK received an additional extension of time to file until 6/15/2021.
In both circumstances, the taxpayer can file Form 4868 to extend the time to file till 10/15/2021 by using the steps below.
Note that an extension request submitted after 5/17/2021 must be paper-filed. See Related Links below for details.
To e-file an extension, you must take the following steps:
- Open the return.
- Enter demographic information on screen 1.
- Open the EXT screen (Other Forms tab).
- From the drop list for the 4868 box, select X to produce Form 4868.
- Indicate the amount to be paid with the extension. Make one of the following entries, or the "Amount you are paying" on the 4868 will be blank.
- Select the option Taxpayer is paying the entire amount of tax due, or
- Enter the amount in the field Amount paid with extension.
- Enter the financial data required by the 4868, which you can do either on the EXT screen or in data entry in the return. Override fields on the 4868 screen draw from the return if no data is entered there.
- Open the EF screen
- Under Federal E-file Override, check the 4868 box.
- Under State E-file Override, check Do NOT send any states if you do not intend to send a state return. To send a state extension as well, select the state EXT option from one of the drop lists.
- Arrange payment:
- For direct debit payment:
- Complete the PMT screen, taking care to select the 4868 option.
- Enter a requested payment date (Drake20).
- For tax year 2020, the payment deadline has been extended to May 17, 2021. See KB 17153 for details.
- The date cannot be prior to five days before the current date.
- If the return is transmitted to the IRS on or before the due date in the current processing year, the Requested Payment Date cannot be later than the due date.
- If the return is transmitted to the IRS after the due date, the Requested Payment Date cannot be later than the current date.
- Complete the PIN screen, taking care to select
- the 4868 with payment option and
- the Direct Debit Consent option.
- For credit card payment:
- Click the link Pay balance due with credit card at the top of the 4868 screen.
- For payment by check or money order, either:
- Print Form 4868 and cut following the upper dotted line. This indicates that the Form 4868 was already e-filed and accepted and that you are only submitting the voucher with the payment by mail.
- Or generate a voucher by selecting the option Produce 1040-V for extension on the EXT screen. The voucher shows the amount paid that is displayed on the 4868 unless you enter a different amount in the associated override field.
- View the return and clear all errors on the ETD_MSG page. View the EF Status page and confirm that the 4868 will be transmitted (note - the EF Status page is produced only if Print EF status page is selected at Setup > Options > EF tab).
- Exit the return. Open the EF Selector Screen (EF > Select Returns for EF). Confirm that the 4868 alone (unless a state extension is also being e-filed) is listed for the return in the EF Documents column of the EF Return Selector screen. If so, proceed through the usual steps to select and transmit.
See the video Deadlines and Extension for Individuals for a demonstration.
- Demographic information. You must enter demographics (name, address, etc.) on screen 1 in order to get that information on the 4868. This cannot be done on the EXT screen.
- Payment amount. If Taxpayer is paying the entire amount of tax due is selected, the Amount you are paying line on the 4868 will show full payment of the estimated amount. You can override this line by entering a number (not zero) in the Amount paid with extension field.
- Financial information. If you have not entered financial data in the return, use overrides on the EXT screen to enter the amount to be paid.
- Screen Help. More information is available by clicking Screen Help on the EXT screen.
- If e-filing a state extension, the PIN screen may need to be completed to allow State extension e-filing (where supported) even if the PIN screen is not required for the federal extension.
Joint Extension and MFS Return. If you and your spouse jointly file Form 4868, but later file separate returns, you can enter the total amount paid with Form 4868 on either of your separate returns. Or you and your spouse can divide the payment in any agreed amounts.
- When you are ready to file the regular return, check the box "Extension was previously filed; ready to file tax return" on the EXT screen and update your selections on the EF Selections screen to indicate that the 1040 will now be filed.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- I e-filed a 1040 return before the deadline and it was rejected - I am working on the fix now, and the deadline is approaching. Do I have to file an extension?
- If you e-filed before the deadline and the return is rejected, you have a perfection period of 5 days after the deadline in which to correct and re-file the return. If there is a chance you may not be able to fix and file the return within the time provided, you should file an extension or paper file the return before the deadline passes. For more information, see Related Links below.
- Do I have to clear all of the red messages before I can e-file an extension?
- No - you need to clear only the errors on the ETD_MSG page when filing for a 1040 extension.
- I e-filed the extension already - now how do I e-file the actual return - it keeps showing the 4868 is being sent again.
- Check the entries made on the EF (EF Selection) screen. 1040 should be marked when you are trying to send the regular return. Also check the box Extension was previously filed; ready to file tax return on the EXT screen.
- How can I create a voucher for the client to pay the federal balance due with the extension?
- On the EXT (4868) screen there is a Produce 1040 - V for extension option as well as a field to enter the Amount to print on 1040-V.
- I previously filed the extension and now I am e-filing the 1040, but the letter reflects the 4868 instead of the 1040.
- On the EXT (4868) screen select Extension was previously filed; ready to file tax return.
- What is the difference between the 4868 and the 2350? Which should I use?
- Both forms extend the filing date for Form 1040 and 1040-NR. If you qualify to file the 2350, use that form; otherwise, file the 4868. Screen EXT is used to complete either form.
- Use Form 4868 to apply for 6 months more to file (until October 15). 4 months more to file if you were allowed an additional two months, until June 15, to file because you were “out of the country” (as defined in the instructions with Form 4868) on April 15 (this extension also takes you to October 15).
- Use Form 2350 only if you expect to qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion and/or the foreign housing exclusion or deduction and meet other qualifications stated in the 2350 instructions. The length of the extension will depend on the details of the return.