Need more time to file your taxes? Here’s how to get an extension


FILE – This Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 file photo shows part of a 1040 federal tax form printed from the Internal Revenue Service website. On Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s tax rate on a family making $75,000 dollars a year would go from 12% to 25%. A current federal tax rate of 12% applies to families making up to $80,000, or individuals making up to $40,000. That would still apply under Biden, who has vowed publicly not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000. (Associated Press)

(ABC4) – The deadline for filing tax returns – May 17 – is fast approaching. If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you may be in luck – you may already have more time to file, or can request an extension.

But how do you know if you have an extension, or if you can get one?

The IRS estimates more than 16 million taxpayers will get an automatic extension, either by filling out a form or making an electronic tax payment.

Here’s a look at who has, or can access, a tax filing extension:

Disaster victims

Those affected by winter storms that hit Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana in February have until June 15, 2021, to file their 2020 returns and pay any taxes due.

According to the IRS, the agency automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an address on file that is located in a federally declared disaster area when at least one area qualifies for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program. If you live in these areas, you do not need to contact the IRS for disaster tax relief.

In some cases, the IRS says this relief can be available to people living outside the disaster area if, for example, they have a business in the disaster area, have tax records in the disaster area, or are assisting in disaster relief.

For more details on available relief, click here.

Combat zone taxpayers

Military service members and eligible support personnel serving in combat zones like Iraq, Afghanistan, and other combat zones are eligible for a tax-filing extension. The IRS says these individuals have at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file their tax returns and pay any tax due.

For a complete list of designated combat zones and additional details, click here.

Taxpayers outside the U.S.

If you’re living abroad, or are a resident alien who lives and works outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico have until June 15, 2021, to file taxes.

Military members who are on duty outside of the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and are not in a designated combat zone, also qualify for this extension.

The IRS says that if you qualify for this extension, you should attach a statement to your return explaining which of these situations apply.

Though taxpayers abroad get more time to pay, interest – currently at the rate of 3% per year, compounded daily – applies to any payment received after this year’s May 17 deadline. For more details about paying taxes while outside the U.S., click here.

Everyone else

If you don’t meet any of the criteria above, don’t worry – you may still qualify for an extension.

According to the IRS, you can submit a request for an automatic extension, which will push your deadline until October 15, 2021. While this will give you an extension on filing your taxes, your 2020 tax payments are still due by May 17.

To get extra time, the IRS recommends using Free File on Anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an extension on Form 4868. To receive an extension, you’ll need to estimate your tax liability on the form.

Alternatively, you can pay electronically and get a tax-filing extension. The IRS will automatically process an extension when you select Form 4868 and make a full or partial federal tax payment by May 17 due date using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or a debit or credit card. Under this option, there is no need to file a separate Form 4868. Electronic payment options are available at

For information about tax filing extensions in Utah, visit

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