Struggling to fill out IRS Tax Form 4868? Here are some helpful instructions that will make the process easier. If all of the tax jargon is still too confusing, remember that you can always take the easy route and e-file Tax Form 4868 online in just minutes.
PART 1: IDENTIFICATION
Enter your name(s) and address. If you plan to file a joint tax return, include both spouses' names in the order in which they will appear on the joint return.
If you would like notices regarding your tax extension to be sent to you at an address other than your own, enter that address in Part I. If you want the correspondences sent to an agent who is acting for you, include the agent's name (as well as your own) and the agent's address in Part I.
If you changed your name after you filed your last tax return (because of marriage, divorce, or other reasons) be sure to report this to the Social Security Administration (SSA) before filing Tax Form 4868. Doing this will help prevent delays in processing your tax extension request.
If you changed your mailing address after you filed your last tax return, you should use Tax Form 8822 (Change of Address) to notify the IRS of that change. Simply showing a new address on Form 4868 will not update your records. You can obtain IRS tax forms by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM or by visiting the IRS website and downloading the forms online.
Lines 2 + 3
If you plan to file a joint tax return, enter the Social Security Number (SSN) of both spouses in the order in which they will appear on the joint return. Otherwise, you only need to include your SSN on Line 2.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) for Aliens: If you are a nonresident or resident alien and you do not have a Social Security Number (and are not eligible to get one), you must apply for an ITIN from the IRS. Although an ITIN is not required to file Tax Form 4868, you will need one to file your income tax return. For details on how to apply for an ITIN, see IRS Tax Form W-7 and its instructions. If you already have an ITIN, enter it on the tax form wherever your Social Security Number is requested. If you don’t currently have an ITIN, write “ITIN TO BE REQUESTED” on the tax form wherever your Social Security Number is requested. [NOTE: An ITIN is for tax purposes only. It does not entitle you to Social Security Benefits, nor does it change your employment or immigration status under United States law.]
PART II: INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX
Keep in mind that you can round-off cents to whole dollar amounts on Tax Form 4868. However, if you do round-off to whole dollars, you must round all amounts on the form. To round-off, drop amounts below 50 cents to the next lower dollar, and increase amounts from 50 to 99 cents to the next higher dollar. (For example, $1.35 would become $1, and $2.50 would become $3). If you have to add two or more numbers together and enter their total on a line, include cents when adding the initial amounts and round-off only the total.
Line 4 ― Estimate of Total Tax Liability for the Year
Enter the total income tax liability that you expect to report on your tax return. This amount will be shown on your Tax Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR, or 1040-SS. If you expect this amount to be zero, enter -0-. Keep in mind, you want to make this estimate as accurate as possible given the information you have. If the IRS later finds that your estimate was not reasonable, your tax extension will be considered null and void.
Line 5—Estimate of Total Payments for the Year
Enter the total payments that you expect to report on your income tax return. This amount will appear on your Tax Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR, or 1040-SS.
Line 6 ― Balance Due
Subtract Line 5 from Line 4 and enter the result here. If Line 5 is more than Line 4, enter -0-.
Line 7 ― Amount You Are Paying
If you find that you cannot pay the amount shown on Line 6 (above), you can still get a tax extension. However, you should try to pay as much as you can in order to limit the amount of interest you will owe. Additionally, you may be charged a late payment penalty on the tax not paid by the original due date of your return (typically April 15).
Line 8 ― Taxpayers Who Are Out of the Country
If you are out of the country on the regular due date of your tax return, check the box on Line 8. For the official definition of “out of the country,” see the IRS Instructions for Tax Form 4868.
Line 9 ― Taxpayers Who File Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ
If you did not receive wages subject to withholding tax and your return is due the 15th day of the 6th month after your tax year ends (usually June 15), check the box on Line 9.