How do I File an Online Tax Extension?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 02 May 2019
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The steps you’ll have to take to file an online tax extension depend on the tax agency to which you are obligated to file. In some cases, you may use a tax program or the tax agency’s online forms to file an extension. In other cases, you will likely have to go online and download an extension form to print and mail to the appropriate tax agency. A tax agency may also require you to pay an estimation of the taxes you owe when you submit or mail your extension request.

If you need to file for an online tax extension, your first step will likely be to make sure the tax agency in question permits online extension requests. You can usually learn whether this option is available by contacting the tax agency by phone or by searching for online tax extension information on the tax agency's website. In most cases, the answer may be one of three things: you may use the tax agency’s online forms to submit a tax extension request, you may use tax software to file an extension online, or you may download an extension form from the tax agency’s website and mail it to file for an extension.


When you file for an online tax extension, you will typically have to provide some basic information to the tax agency to which you are required to submit tax documentation. In most cases, you will have to provide your name and address as well as your taxpayer identification number. If you are filing a joint tax return, you will likely have to provide your spouse’s taxpayer identification number as well. Many tax agencies will also require you to provide an estimate of your tax liability for the filing year, an estimate of the amount you have already paid in taxes, and a calculation of the amount you think you will owe in taxes.

The rules regarding online tax extensions may vary from agency to agency, but many do not offer an extension of the deadline for paying taxes due. In many cases, you will have to pay the money you owe by the regular deadline, regardless of the length of your extension, if you want to avoid paying penalties and interest. If you file via the tax agency's website or by using tax software, you can likely make a payment using a credit card or an electronic check. If you download and print a tax extension form, however, you will likely have to submit payment in the form of a paper check via the mail.


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