File a Business Tax Extension OnlinePublished:
Business Taxes Are Due Tuesday, March 15, 2016
The IRS allows both individuals and businesses to file for a tax extension, which gives you more time to file your income tax return. However, the rules and due dates for business tax extensions are generally different than those for personal tax extensions.
Depending on the type of business, the IRS allows for a 5 or 6 month extension period, starting from the date the tax return was originally due. For example, if a business obtains a 6-month extension and its original filing deadline was March 15, its new filing deadline is September 15.
If you are planning to file a tax extension for your business, it is crucial that you understand the IRS rules and due dates.
Rules for Filing a Business Tax Extension
Businesses that need more time to properly prepare their taxes can request a tax extension with IRS Form 7004 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns). Business extensions are automatic, which means you don’t need to sign Form 7004 or provide a reason why you need more time.
Most companies should use Form 7004 to apply for a business extension. However, for certain businesses (like sole proprietorships) where the business activities are reported on the business owner’s personal tax return, a personal extension should be requested with IRS Form 4868 instead.
Form 7004 can be used to extend the filing deadline for the following business returns:
Form 706-GS(D), Form 706-GS(T), Form 1041, Form 1041-N, Form 1041-QFT, Form 1042, Form 1065, Form 1065-B, Form 1066, Form 1120, Form 1120-C, Form 1120-F, Form 1120-FSC, Form 1120-H, Form 1120-L, Form 1120-ND, Form 1120-ND (section 4951 taxes), Form 1120-PC, Form 1120-POL, Form 1120-REIT, Form 1120-RIC, Form 1120S, Form 1120-SF, Form 3520-A, Form 8612, Form 8613, Form 8725, Form 8804, Form 8831, Form 8876, Form 8924, and Form 8928.
If you are required to file one of the above tax returns and you need an extension, use Form 7004 to request extra time.
Here are some important business tax extension rules to keep in mind:
• Be Accurate. Business extensions are considered automatic, as long as Form 7004 is completed and filed correctly. Your tax extension will be denied if there are errors on your extension application (such as the wrong Tax ID Number).
• Pay Any Taxes Due. A tax extension does not give you more time to pay your taxes – it only gives you more time to file your tax return. If you owe taxes for the year, you are still expected to pay by the original due date (March 15 or April 15, depending on the type of business). If you fail to pay your tax liability by the original deadline, you will be subject to IRS penalties and interest charges. Therefore, you should pay your taxes with your extension to avoid the late fees.
• File On Time. You must submit your extension application, Form 7004, on or before the original filing due date of your tax return. This deadline will vary depending on the type of business entity. For most partnerships, estates, and trusts, the original filing deadline is April 15 (for calendar year taxpayers). For most corporations, including C-corporations and S-corporations, the original filing deadline is March 15.
Make sure to use an Authorized IRS e-file Provider so your sensitive/personal information is kept secure. It’s recommended that you choose a 3rd party software provider, like e-file.com, that has been officially approved to e-file tax forms to the IRS.