Federal Business Tax Extension in 2024: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to File for a Business Tax Extension (Federal) in 2024?

Did you miss the tax deadline? Don't worry, there's good news! Chances are, you're eligible for a tax extension. And here's the best part: with just a wifi connection, you can secure extra time to file your taxes in under 30 minutes. Let us guide you through the process.

Keep in mind that getting an extension for filing your tax returns doesn't mean an extension for paying what you owe. You're still expected to pay your estimated tax by the original deadline. Please do so to avoid a late payment penalty, even if you've received an extension for filing.

To sum up, here's a quick guide to applying for a tax extension:

  1. First, grab the tax forms relevant to your type of business.
  2. Next, send your request for a federal tax extension to the IRS.
  3. Don't forget to pay any taxes you owe by the due date.

Once you've done these steps, your extension should be automatically in place.

Pretty straightforward, isn't it?

This method works for all types of businesses across the U.S., with the exception of sole proprietors.

Just a heads up: This is all about federal tax extensions. For state tax extensions, the rules vary, so it's best to check with your State's Secretary of State for specifics.

If you're a sole proprietor, here's your guide to filing an extension online

The process for requesting an extension as a sole proprietor or self-employed individual is almost identical to filing a personal tax return. But before diving into how to sidestep late filing fees, it's worth noting that, in some cases, you might not need to file for an extension at all.

An automatic six-month extension is yours if:

  1. You're an individual serving in a combat zone, aiding the U.S. Armed Forces (this includes spouses).
  2. You're in the military and stationed outside the U.S.
  3. You're a U.S. citizen living and working overseas.
  4. You're a U.S. citizen residing in areas affected by major natural disasters.

In these situations, you automatically get more time to file your tax return – there's no need to apply for an extension. Your tax payment deadline will be six months after your standard filing date.

For everyone else, securing an extension means submitting a form for an automatic extension.

Get an Automatic Extension by Paying Online 

(Time Required: Less than 5 minutes)

If you're opting to pay your taxes via the internet, you can effortlessly secure a six-month extension without the hassle of additional paperwork. This approach is the quickest and most straightforward method to extend your tax filing deadline. 

Instead of navigating through the IRS Free File system, choose the "extension" option while making your payment through the IRS's online payment gateway. 

It's that easy. Your six-month extension starts immediately without any extra applications. 

Additionally, if you file online and arrange for your tax refund to be deposited straight into your bank account, it's the speediest way to receive your refund, even when you're filing with an extension. 

You'll still have to give your basic contact details and tax information, but there's no need to handle filing for an extension and paying your taxes as two distinct steps.

Applying for an Online Tax Extension 

(Time Required: Less than 30 minutes)

If you're looking to request a tax extension online, independent of making an online tax payment, you must complete IRS Form 4868. The IRS provides several online options for this. For those with an income under $72,000, the Free File software is available. However, if your income exceeds $72,000, you'll need to use the Free File fillable forms instead.

IRS Form 4868

Keep in mind that your taxes are still due by April 15, 2024. Therefore, when you file for an extension, you should also estimate your total tax liability (check out this guide for calculating your small business taxes) and deduct any taxes you've already paid.

Applying for a Tax Extension Deadline

Make sure to apply for your tax extension by the regular tax deadline, which is April 15, 2024.

After you've submitted your extension application, your new deadline for filing the tax return will automatically extend to October 15, 2024.

Online Tax Extension Filing for Partnerships, S Corps, and C Corps

Time Required: Less than 30 minutes (if you have all your information ready).

Corporations and partnerships are required to fill out Form 7004 to request an extension for their tax filings. Instead of submitting a paper form, it's usually more efficient to use the IRS' e-file service. Set up an account to begin, and the website will walk you through the process.

Remember, for each type of tax return you need an extension for, a separate Form 7004 must be submitted.

IRS Form 7004

When applying for a tax extension for your return, you'll need to furnish the IRS with some essential details about your company:

  • Indicate if your entity is a foreign corporation without a physical office or business location in the U.S.
  • Specify if your entity is a corporation acting as the primary parent in a group filing a consolidated return.
  • Confirm if your corporation or partnership falls under the Regulations section 1.6081-5.
  • Provide the dates of your fiscal and tax years.
  • If applicable, mention that you're filing for a short tax year and explain the reason.
  • Lastly, you should include an estimate of your total tax liability along with any payments and tax credits you've already made.

Tax Extension Application Deadline for Different Business Types

Similar to sole proprietors, businesses must still make estimated tax payments by the standard filing deadline relevant to their business structure:

  • For Partnerships, the initial deadline is March 15, 2024, with an extended deadline of September 15, 2024.
  • S corporations also have a deadline of March 15, 2024, with an extended deadline to September 15, 2024.
  • C corporations face a deadline of April 15, 2024, with the extended deadline being October 15, 2024. If a C corporation's fiscal year-end differs from the calendar year-end, the filing due date is the 15th day of the 4th month following the end of the fiscal year. The extended deadline in such cases will be six months after this specific date.

Catch the team on LinkedIn.

Check out our glossary.