April 10, 2006 – IR-2006-049
Taxpayers Can Request an Automatic Six-Month Tax Filing Extension
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds individual taxpayers that they can request an automatic six-month filing extension. An extension grants extra time for filing the tax return only, not for paying any taxes due. Taxpayers will owe interest on any past due tax and may be subject to a late payment penalty if payment is not made by the original due date of the return.
The request must be made by the due date of the return, which is April 17, 2006, for all states except the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Taxpayers in these states have until April 18, 2006, to file and pay because of the Patriot’s Day Holiday on April 17 in Massachusetts, where the Andover Service Center is located.
This year, the IRS simplified the process to file for an extension. Individuals should use the 2005 version of Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to get the automatic six-month extension to Oct. 16, 2006 (Oct. 15, 2006, is a Sunday). The extension is automatic as long as it is timely filed and includes a proper estimate of tax due. Taxpayers do not need to sign the extension request or provide an explanation for requesting an extension.
The IRS reminds extension filers that they can electronically file their returns until Oct. 16. Last year, nearly 1.8 million taxpayers filed electronically after the April deadline.
Hurricane Katrina Taxpayers Can Request Extension until Feb. 28, 2007
Taxpayers affected by Hurricane Katrina who still cannot file their 2005 income tax return by the postponed due date, Aug. 28, 2006, may request this six-month extension of time to file in addition to the postponement already granted to them for their April 17, 2006, filing and payment deadlines. The six-month extension would extend the filing due date for Hurricane Katrina taxpayers to Feb. 28, 2007. To request the additional six-month extension, Hurricane Katrina taxpayers need to file the 2005 version of Form 4868 by August 28, 2006. However, they need to write “Hurricane Katrina” in red on the top of the extension request form.
Earlier this year, the IRS automatically postponed the filing and payment deadlines for individual and business taxpayers in the parishes and counties most severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina to Aug. 28, 2006. Other affected taxpayers, who lived outside of the areas that received the automatic postponement, as well as disaster relief workers still in the area, can also get a postponement. They must identify themselves as impacted by writing “Hurricane Katrina” in red in the top margin of their return (or other document, such as Form 4868) or by calling the IRS Disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227. The disaster areas eligible for additional relief by self-identification are defined in IRS news release IR-2006-30.
Additional information about the new regulations for extensions for individuals and businesses is available on irs.gov.