Filing an Extension

What if you’re just not able to gather all of the necessary information for your tax return by the normal due date of April 15?

Or what if your tax preparer is already booked up and cannot get to your return by April 15?

No worries! That is the advantage of filing the extension.

But please be advised – an extension is used to get more time to file your federal income tax return – repeating: time to file. What it does NOT do is allow you more time to pay any federal tax due. Your tax is always due on April 15 even if you file for an extension to get more time to file. So if you expect that you will owe more federal tax whenever you will file your return you should go ahead and make a “guesstimate” of the amount you might have to pay and go ahead and pay that with along with filing the extension. Just like regular withholdings if you have overpaid, when you file your return you will get a refund. This isn’t mandatory – you can still just wait and pay what you owe when you file your return, but it may very well cost a bit more due to interest charges accessed by the IRS.

How much extra time does filing an extension allow me to file?

Six more months, or until October 15.

But remember that if you owe tax, IRS may charge you interest for every day past April 15! So the sooner you can finish your return and get it filed, the better off you are.

How do I file an extension?

Just let us know that you want to file an extension and we can electronically file it for you. All we need is your name, address, and social security number (or numbers if filing jointly). You can call our office at 865-977-8356 and we will file it your you. If we filed your return last year we will already have this information on file. Additionally if you want to pay an estimated tax amount via checking account debit along with the extension we will need your Bank checking account routing number and account number. We will also need your signature on an “authorization to e-file document” to allow the IRS to directly debit your checking account. Alternatively, you can log onto and make your own arrangement to pay any amount you choose. There are also other ways to pay if you need to.

You can also file your own extension by downloading form 4868 from, filling it out and mailing it to IRS. As long as it’s post marked by April 15 it will be accepted.

Extensions are quite common. We usually file a few hundred of them every year – for various reasons. I have filed one for myself several times because I’m usually too busy preparing our clients returns to do my own. For me, I love it when clients file for an extension! Doing so allows me to extend my working time beyond April 15 and take on additional clients. It also allows me to slow down just a little bit and work at a slightly more leisurely pace.

You the taxpayer may look at it differently. I realize it may be new and different for you if you are not familiar with the process. But the extension itself is absolutely free! We don’t charge you anything to file the extension for you, and the IRS don’t charge you anything either. But do keep in mind that IRS does charge interest on the underpaid tax that was due on April 15 – so again the emphasis is on making a payment if you think that you might owe.