You may be allowed an automatic 2-month extension of time to file your return and pay any federal income tax that is due. You will be allowed the extension if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien and on the regular due date of your return:
- You are living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of business or post of duty is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or
- You are in military or naval service on duty outside the United States and Puerto Rico
To use this automatic 2-month extension, you must attach a statement to your return explaining which of the two situations listed earlier qualified you for the extension.
If you are unable to file your return within the automatic 2-month extension period, you may be able to get an additional 4-month extension of time to file your return, for a total of 6 months. The automatic 2-month and the 6-month extension start at the same time. You do not have to request the 6-month extension until the new due date allowed by the first extension, but the total combined extension will still only be 6 months from the regular due date.
A 6-month extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. You must make an accurate estimate of your tax and send any necessary payment with your Form 4868 or pay the tax due by credit card. If you find you cannot pay the full amount due with Form 4868, you can still get the extension. You will owe interest on the unpaid amount.
You also may be charged a penalty for paying the tax late unless you have reasonable cause for not paying your tax when due. Interest and penalties are assessed (charged) from the original due date of your return.
- Taxpayers abroad. U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work abroad, as well as members of the military on duty outside the U.S., have until June 15 to file and pay. However, interest is still due on any tax payment made after April 17.
- Members of the military and others serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat zone localities. Typically, taxpayers can wait until at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file returns and pay any taxes due. For details, see Extensions of Deadlines in Publication 3, Armed Forces Tax Guide.
- People affected by certain tornadoes, severe storms, floods and other recent natural disasters. Currently, parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia are covered by federal disaster declarations, and affected individuals and businesses in these areas have until May 31 to file and pay.