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Publication 570

When To File(p18)

If you file on a calendar year basis, the due date for filing your U.S. income tax return is April 15 following the end of your tax year. If you use a fiscal year (a year ending on the last day of a month other than December), the due date is the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of your fiscal year. If any due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, your tax return is due on the next business day.
For this purpose, "legal holiday" means a legal holiday in the District of Columbia or in the state where the return is required to be filed. It does not include a legal holiday in a foreign country, unless it is also a legal holiday described in the previous sentence.
For your 2010 tax return, the due date is April 18, 2011, because April 15, 2011, is a legal holiday in the District of Columbia—even if you do not live in the District of Columbia.
If you mail your federal tax return, it is considered timely if it bears an official postmark dated on or before the due date, including any extensions. If you use a private delivery service designated by the IRS, generally the postmark date is the date the private delivery service records in its database or marks on the mailing label. See your form instructions for a list of designated private delivery services.

Extension of Time To File(p19)

You can get an extension of time to file your return. Special rules apply for those living outside the United States.

Automatic 6-Month Extension(p19)

If you cannot file your 2010 return by the due date, you can get an automatic 6-month extension of time to file.


If your return must be filed by April 18, 2011, you will have until October 17, 2011, to file.
Although you are not required to make a payment of the tax you estimate as due, Form 4868 does not extend the time to pay taxes. If you do not pay the amount due by the regular due date (generally, April 15), you will owe interest on any unpaid tax from the original due date to the date you pay the tax. You may also be charged penalties (see the instructions for Form 4868).

How to get the automatic extension.(p19)

You can get the automatic 6-month extension if you do one of the following by the due date for filing your return. See Form 4868 for information on getting an extension using these options.

When to file.(p19)

You must request the automatic extension by the due date for your return. You can file your return any time before the 6-month extension period ends.

When you file your return.(p19)

Enter any payment you made related to the extension of time to file on Form 1040, line 68. If you file Form 1040A, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, or Form 1040EZ, Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents, include that payment in your total payments on Form 1040A, line 44, or Form 1040EZ, line 10. Also enter "Form 4868" and the amount paid in the space to the left of the entry space for line 44 or line 10.
You cannot ask the Internal Revenue Service to figure your tax if you use the extension of time to file.

Individuals Outside the United States(p19)

You are allowed an automatic 2-month extension (until June 15, 2011, if you use the calendar year) to file your 2010 return and pay any federal income tax due if:
  1. You are a U.S. citizen or resident, and
  2. On the due date of your return:
    1. You are living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico, and your main place of business or post of duty is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or
    2. You are in military or naval service on duty outside the United States and Puerto Rico.
However, if you pay the tax due after the regular due date (generally April 15), interest will be charged from April 15 until the date the tax is paid.
If you serve in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area, you may be eligible for a longer extension of time to file. For more information, see Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide.

Married taxpayers.(p19)

If you file a joint return, only one spouse has to qualify for this automatic extension. However, if you and your spouse file separate returns, this automatic extension applies only to the spouse who qualifies.

How to get the extension.(p19)

To use this special automatic extension, you must attach a statement to your return explaining what situation qualified you for the extension. (See the situations listed under (2), earlier.)

Extension beyond 2 months.(p19)

If you cannot file your 2010 return within the automatic 2-month extension period, you can get an additional 4-month extension, for a total of 6 months. File Form 4868 by the end of the automatic extension period (June 15, 2011, for calendar year taxpayers). Be sure to check the box on Form 4868, line 8, if appropriate.
In addition to this 6-month extension, taxpayers who are out of the country (as defined under (2) earlier) can request a discretionary 2-month additional extension of time to file their returns (to December 15 for calendar year taxpayers).
To request this extension, you must send the IRS a letter explaining the reasons why you need the additional 2 months. Send the letter by the extended due date (October 15 for calendar year taxpayers) to:

Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service Center 
Austin, TX 73301-0215

You will not receive any notification from the IRS unless your request is denied for being untimely.