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How to File Income Taxes Late


Visit the IRS website to view the time extension form (Form 4868).


Print out the form and fill it in manually if you want to mail the form. You must include an estimate of taxes due with the extension form when you file the form. File the form by mail by mailing it to the address you would use to file your income tax return, including any tax payment you estimate you owe (paid by check or money order).


File the form electronically using the "E-file" process. Visit the "FreeFile" website to begin the process of filing electronically. Click "Start Free File Fillable Forms" and create a free account (if you do not already have an account). Log in to your account with your username and password. Choose the tax form you will eventually submit and fill out the personal information at the top. Click the "E-File Extension" tab in the top right corner and the form 4868 will appear. Fill in the fields with your personal information and an estimate of any taxes you expect to owe. Complete the rest of the form, including a payment option if you wish to pay your estimated tax electronically, and file the extension.


Pay estimated tax owed by credit card or debit card by calling one of the toll-free telephone numbers listed at the end of form 4868. Alternatively, visit one of the websites listed on the form to pay your estimated tax by credit or debit card online.

Tips and Warnings

  • Filing a tax extension will provide you with six additional months to file your tax return. You must file your taxes within this period or they will be late.
  • File the tax extension before your tax return is due or you may receive a penalty for late filing.
  • The IRS charges a penalty percentage for late tax payments. Just because you file a timely tax extension does not mean you do not owe your tax payment by the due date. You must pay any estimated taxes owed by the original tax due date even if you file an extension.

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