How to File Late Taxes

File form 4868 if you are an individual who is paying taxes late.

Sometimes there are circumstances that happen beyond your control that cause you to file late taxes. It happens from time to time, and the government is aware that sometimes taxpayers have legitimate reasons that force them to file late taxes. For such occasions, the IRS has forms for late filing taxpayers. If you find that you cannot meet the April 15th deadline, you must complete and file the appropriate late filing forms.

Step 1

Determine your filing status. There are several different forms for filing late taxes. Each form depends upon your filing status. If you’re a business, you may need to complete Form 7004. If you are out of the country, you may need form 2350. If you’re filing as an individual and not a business, you need Form 4868.

Step 2

Obtain a copy of the appropriate form. You can download the forms from the IRS website. If you don’t have access to the Internet, call the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-3676 and request the appropriate form be mailed to you.

Step 3

Complete the tax extension form for filing late taxes. Be sure to follow the instructions. Completing the form incorrectly may lead to fines or penalties. If you are having difficulty completing the form, contact the IRS for assistance.

Step 4

Mail the form to the IRS before the tax deadline. You may have an extension to file your taxes late, but you must send the extension form in prior to the April 15th deadline. You will be subject to late filing penalties if you fail to mail it in a timely manner.

Step 5

Pay the estimated amount of taxes owed. The IRS forms for the tax filing extension applies to the paperwork only. In most cases, except if you are filing from overseas, you must submit the amount of taxes owed by the April 15th tax deadline whether or not it is accompanied by the appropriate tax paperwork.


If your extension of time runs out and you still need to file your tax return, file it as soon as possible to reduce interest and penalties.

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