Ways to File a Form 4868 Extension Online

These options will help you file IRS Form 4868 online for an extension

Tax day is looming and you're running out of time. Maybe you can't lay your hands on documents you need, or you might be in the middle of a real time crunch and you know you won't have an opportunity to prepare your return before the deadline. Fear not.

You can ask the Internal Revenue Service for an extension of time to file your federal tax return, and you can do it quickly and easily online. At least four services will help you file IRS Form 4868—the form that's used to ask for an extension—for free or at low cost. 

Free Federal Extension at IRS.gov

IRS FreeFile / IRS.gov
IRS FreeFile / IRS.gov

As the name suggests, you can use the IRS Free File website to find forms and to e-file your application for an extension for free. Free File offers Fillable Forms, an online application that allows you to complete tax forms right on the IRS website. IRS form 4868 can be filled out with minimal instruction, then it will be e-filed for free.

You can also use the IRS Free File service itself to file your federal return when you're ready. You must qualify for Free File depending on the tax software provider you choose through the program. More

Use Your Tax Software

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Most quality tax software applications will help you file for an extension, and most have the option to do so on the first screen you see when you open the software. You'll also probably find a link on the website if you're using online tax software. This is a convenient feature because it keeps the record of your extension together with all your other tax data, but you must first purchase the software application.  More

TurboTax Easy Extension


TurboTax Easy Extension will take you through the steps to complete an extension for your federal tax return. This online app also features TaxCaster to help you estimate the amount of your refund or how much you will owe when you file your tax return.

If you already use TurboTax, you can prepare, print and mail IRS Form 4868 from the software. If you're using TurboTax Online to complete your taxes, be sure to use that same account. Just sign in and use Easy Extension to file your extension. This will keep all your tax data together, and it's a free service for personal extensions. 




FileLater walks you through completing IRS Form 4868, or Form 7004 if you need to file a personal or business tax extension. You can check the status of your extension through the website and find out if it has been accepted or rejected, FileLater will also help you correct any errors and resubmit the request at no additional charge if it's rejected. It will tell you whether you need to file a state income tax extension as well, along with providing state instructions and forms.

FileLater includes a calculator to help you determine if you will be owing taxes or if you can anticipate a refund. If you owe, you can pay directly from FileLater. Even if you file for an extension, you must still pay what you estimate you'll owe by the original tax filing date. 

FileLater isn't free. It costs $29.95 for personal extensions and $34.95 for business extension as of 2017. The service will e-file the application for you at no additional cost.  More

State Tax Returns May Be Different

The application to extend the filing date for a state return is a separate process and can vary from state to state. Some services offer this additional option, but it might not be free.