How to File a Tax Extension From iPhone, iPad or Computer (Form 4868)

Is April 15, 2014 sneaking up on you too fast? Need more time to do your taxes or find a professional to do them for you? We’ll show you how to file a tax Extension from the iPhone, iPad or Computer to quickly get a 6 month extension to file your 2013 taxes using IRS Form 4868.

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Update: Use this 2015 Taxes Guide

Filing a tax extension using the IRS Form 4868 is as simple as filling out a PDF file from the IRS and mailing it in. There are Tax Extension apps and services that charge users, but it is possible to file for a free tax extension in a few minutes.

In order to file a tax extension you will need to file the extension with the IRS by April 15th, just as if you filed your taxes, but you won’t need to actually do your taxes for last year by the 15th.

Filing a Tax extension is free, and there are no special reasons needed. All you need to do is fill out the IRS Form 4868, which grants you an automatic six month extension with no excuses needed.  This will push the time to file your taxes from April 15th 2014 to October 15th 2014.

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File for a free 6 month tax extension using IRS form 4868 on the iPad, iPhone or Computer.

File for a free 6 month tax extension using IRS form 4868 on the iPad, iPhone or Computer.

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There is one big catch that you need to know about. If you owe the IRS money filing a six month tax extension doesn’t mean you don’t need to pay your taxes by April 15th 2014. If you owe the IRS you need to enclose an estimated tax payment with the IRS Form 4868 or you will face penalties. It is a good idea to base this off the amount of money you paid in past years to avoid underpaying. There are some services that can use your basic tax info to help estimate the payment you should send with the tax extension request, but again, this is something you can do on your own.

This guide will look at using the iPhone, iPad or computer to file a IRS Form 4868 for an automatic six month extension to file your 2013 taxes, and will not include dates or information for businesses, which will likely need to use an alternate form and may require alternate dates.

Keep in mind that this form is only for your federal taxes, you will need to look at your state and city governments for information about filing a tax extension in those areas.

When in doubt it is best to contact a qualified professional to understand the forms and items you are filling out, but the IRS Form 4868 is designed to make it easy for the average taxpayer to understand.

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How to Get a 6 Month Tax Extension Automatically

Any U.S. citizen can file an IRS form 4868 to ask for an automatic six month tax extension. This form is available online from the IRS and users can fill it out on a computer, iPad or iPhone. Using the computer is the easiest way to fill out this form, but the iPad and iPhone will work in a pinch.

There is a 99 cent iPhone and iPad Tax Extension app that will assist in filling it out and will offer a paid e-file option, but some reviews complain that the app does not include free e-filing. There are also online services that charge a small fee to help you fill out the form, but there are only nine lines to fill out and most users don’t need the help.

Eric Bisignano, CPA and owner of Charitax shares his opinion on paying to file a an IRS form 4868 for a tax extension,

“I’m all about outsourcing to save you time or money but the federal extension form is so easy to fill out, I recommend just filling it out yourself. The only information you need to have to fill out the Form 4868 are your personal info, the amount of tax you actually paid in the year, how much you can send in before April 15th, and and estimate of what you will owe.

That last one is what probably makes people nervous – but it’s an estimate. Just estimate conservatively or based on last year’s tax owed and you’ll likely avoid underpayment penalties. Same goes for the business version of the extension form for business owners.”

With that in mind, if you are ready to file for a six month tax extension without paying someone you should download the IRS Form 4868 to your computer, fill in the fields including the estimated amount you should pay, from last year’s tax documents or your calculate your taxes with a free tax calculator and compare it to the amount you paid in on a W-2 or 10-99.

1. Download the IRS Form 4868.

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2. Fill it out on a computer and print it out.

This form is all you need to fill out for a six month tax extension.

This form is all you need to fill out for a six month tax extension.

3. If you are filling it out on the iPhone or iPad you will need the free Adobe Reader.

  • Choose Open in Adobe Reader in the upper right of the web browser.
  • Tap on the screen and when a toolbar appears you can either tap in a form field to type or tap on the small text icon at the bottom of the screen to start filling it out.

4. Print the IRS Form 4868 and mail it in to the IRS, postmarked by April 15th.

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If you are looking at this after the post office closed on April 15th, you may be able to e-file the IRS Form 4868 using the online IRS tools or paying a service like FileLater.

Will Filing a Tax Extension Increase My Audit Risk?

Some people worry that asking the IRS for a six month tax extension will increase their likelihood of an audit or other attention from the federal government. According to, Bisignano this is not likely the case.

“The algorithm that the IRS uses to determine if you’ll be audited is not published that I’m aware of. But I suspect that filing an extension would have no impact on your risk of being audited. As a former federal auditor who lived in the world of data mining tactics and red flags, the IRS is more concerned about the details of your specific tax situation than whether you extend the time to file.

Types of income, deductions, credits, whether you are a business owner, and things of that nature are more relevant to an auditor. Plus, in the end, the IRS would be foolish to not calculate how much of a return they might get if they audited you. Has to be worth their time or be suspected fraud for a full-blown audit to make sense.”

This should help users decide if they need to rush to finish their taxes or if they have time to fill out the IRS form 4868 to ask for an automatic six month extension instead.