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IRS.gov Website
Publication 3
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050102

Extensions of Deadlines To File Your Tax Return, To Pay Your Taxes, and for Other Actions(p27)

rule
In this section, we discuss extensions of the deadlines for tax return filing, tax payments, and other actions. We discuss extensions related to combat zone service and contingency operations, and those not related to combat zone service and contingency operations.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050103

Can I Get an Extension To File My Return If I Am Not in a Combat Zone or a Contingency Operation?(p27)

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If you are not in a combat zone or a contingency operation, you still may be eligible for an extension of time to file your return. Different rules apply depending on whether you live inside or outside the United States.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050104

Getting an Extension If I Am Inside the United States(p28)

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If you are inside the United States, you can receive an automatic 6-month extension to file your return if you either file Form 4868, or pay any part of your expected tax due by credit or debit card, by the regular due date of your return. You can file Form 4868 electronically or on paper. See Form 4868 for details.
The extension of time to file is automatic, and you will not receive any notice of approval. However, your request for an extension will be denied if it is not made timely. The IRS will inform you of the denial.
EIC
You cannot use the automatic extension if you choose to have IRS figure the tax or you are under a court order to file your return by the regular due date.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050105

Where on my return do I enter the amount paid with my request for an extension?(p28)

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Enter the amount you paid with your request for the extension on Form 1040, line 70. On Form 1040A, include the amount in the total on line 46. On Form 1040EZ, include the amount in the total on line 9. To the left of Form 1040A, line 46 (or Form 1040EZ, line 9), enter "Form 4868" and show the amount paid.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050106

Getting an Extension If I Am Outside the United States and Puerto Rico(p28)

rule
If you are outside the United States and Puerto Rico, there are two automatic extensions that apply to you and a third extension that is discretionary.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176344

The automatic 2-month extension.(p28)

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If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, you qualify for an automatic 2-month extension of time without filing Form 4868 if either of the following situations applies to you. You will be charged interest on any amount not paid by the regular due date until the date the tax is paid.
If you use this automatic extension, you must attach a statement to the return showing that you are described in Situation 1 or 2 above.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176345
What if I'm filing a joint return?(p28)
A married couple filing a joint return is given the automatic 2-month extension if one of the spouses met the requirement under Situation 1 or Situation 2 above.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176346
What if I'm filing as married filing separately?(p28)
For married persons filing separate returns, only the spouse who satisfies the criteria in Situation 1 or Situation 2 qualifies for the automatic 2-month extension.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050107

The additional automatic 4-month extension (Form 4868).(p28)

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You can request an additional 4-month extension by filing Form 4868 by June 15, 2017, for a 2016 calendar-year tax return. Check the box on line 8. This will extend your due date to October 16, 2017, if you are a calendar-year taxpayer.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050111

Are There Filing, Tax Payment, and Other Extensions Specifically for Those in a Combat Zone or a Contingency Operation?(p28)

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The postponements for filing, tax payment, and the other actions listed in For Which Actions Are My Deadlines Extended, later, such as collection and examination actions, are specifically for persons in the Armed Forces in combat zones or contingency operations. As noted in some of our earlier discussions, these postponements are referred to as "extensions of deadlines."
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050112

What Type of Service Will Qualify Me for These Extensions?(p28)

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You will qualify for these extensions if either of the following statements is true.
See Combat Zone Defined, earlier, under Combat Pay Exclusion, for the beginning dates for the Afghanistan area combat zone, the Kosovo area combat zone, and the Arabian Peninsula combat zone.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176362

Do the extensions apply to those in missing status?(p28)

rule
Time in a missing status (missing in action or prisoner of war) counts as time in a combat zone or a contingency operation.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176363

Do the extensions apply to support personnel?(p28)

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Deadlines are also extended if you are serving in a combat zone or a contingency operation in support of the Armed Forces. This applies to Red Cross personnel, accredited correspondents, and civilian personnel acting under the direction of the Armed Forces in support of those forces.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176364

Do the extensions apply to spouses?(p29)

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Spouses of individuals who served in a combat zone or contingency operation are entitled to the same deadline extensions with two exceptions.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050113

How Much Extra Time Do These Extensions Give Me?(p29)

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Your deadline for filing your return, paying your tax, claiming a refund, and taking other actions with the IRS is extended in two steps.
First, your deadline is extended for 180 days after the later of the following.
  1. The last day you are in a combat zone, have qualifying service outside of the combat zone, or serve in a contingency operation (or the last day the area qualifies as a combat zone or the operation qualifies as a contingency operation).
  2. The last day of any continuous qualified hospitalization (defined later) for injury from service in the combat zone or contingency operation or while performing qualifying service outside of the combat zone.
Second, in addition to the 180 days, your deadline is extended by the number of days that were left for you to take the action with the IRS when you entered a combat zone (or began performing qualifying service outside the combat zone) or began serving in a contingency operation. If you entered the combat zone or began serving in the contingency operation before the period of time to take the action began, your deadline is extended by the entire period of time you have to take the action. For example, you had 31/2 months (January 1– April 18, 2016) to file your 2015 tax return. Any days of this 31/2 month period that were left when you entered the combat zone (or the entire 31/2 months if you entered the combat zone by January 1, 2016) are added to the 180 days when determining the last day allowed for filing your 2015 tax return.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176367

Example 1.(p29)

Captain Margaret Jones, a resident of Maryland, entered Saudi Arabia on December 1, 2014. She remained there through March 31, 2016, when she departed for the United States. She was not injured and did not return to the combat zone. The deadlines for filing Captain Jones' 2014, 2015, and 2016 returns are figured as follows.
Deposit
When the due date for doing any act for tax purposes—filing a return, paying taxes, etc.—falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176368

Example 2.(p29)

You generally have 3 years from April 18, 2016, to file a claim for refund against your timely filed 2015 tax return. This means that your claim normally must be filed by April 18, 2019. However, if you served in a combat zone from November 1, 2018, through March 23, 2019, and were not injured, your deadline for filing that claim is extended 349 days (180 plus 169) after you leave the combat zone. This extends your deadline to March 6, 2020. The 169 additional days are the number of days in the 3-year period for filing the refund claim that were left when you entered the combat zone on November 1 (November 1, 2018– April 18, 2019).
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176369

Qualified hospitalization.(p29)

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The hospitalization must be the result of an injury received while serving in a combat zone or a contingency operation. Qualified hospitalization means:
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176370

Example.(p29)

Petty Officer Leonard Brown's ship entered the Persian Gulf on January 5, 2015. On February 15, 2015, Petty Officer Brown, a resident of Maryland, was injured and was flown to a U.S. hospital. He remained in the hospital through April 21, 2016. The deadlines for filing Petty Officer Brown's 2014, 2015, and 2016 returns are figured as follows.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050114

For Which Actions Are My Deadlines Extended?(p30)

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The actions to which this deadline extension provision applies include:
If the IRS takes any actions covered by these provisions or sends you a notice of examination before learning that you are entitled to an extension of the deadline, contact your legal assistance office. No penalties or interest will be imposed for failure to file a return or pay taxes during the extension period.
Other actions to which the deadline extension provision applies are listed in Revenue Procedure 2007-56, 2007-34 I.R.B. 388, available at
IRS.gov/irb/2007-34_IRB/ar13.html.
Deposit
Even though the deadline is extended, you may want to file a return earlier to receive any refund due. See Filing Returns, earlier.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050115

Can I Get an Extension To Pay My Tax If I Am Not in a Combat Zone or a Contingency Operation?(p30)

rule
If you are a member of the Armed Forces, you may qualify for an extension to pay (that is, defer or delay payment of) income tax that becomes due before or during your military service. To qualify, you must:
You will then be allowed up to 180 days after termination or release from military service to pay the tax. If you pay the tax in full by the end of the extension period, you will not be charged interest or penalty for that period.
This exception does not apply to the employee's share of social security and Medicare taxes.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176376

Military service.(p30)

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The term "military service" means the period beginning on the date on which you enter military service and ending on the date on which you are released from military service or die while in military service. If you are a member of the National Guard, your military service will include service meeting all three of the following criteria:
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink1000176377

How do I request an extension of time to pay my tax? (p30)

rule
If you have a current payment agreement (such as an installment agreement), you must make a written request for an extension of time to pay the tax to the IRS office where you have the agreement.
If you do not have a current payment agreement, you must wait until you receive a notice asking for payment before you request an extension of time to pay the tax. Once you have received a notice, you must make a written request for an extension of time to pay the tax to the IRS office that issued the notice.
In either case, your request must include:If possible, enclosing a copy of your orders would be helpful.
taxmap/pubs/p3-012.htm#en_us_publink100050116

How will I know if my request for an extension of time to pay the tax has been granted?(p31)

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The IRS will review your request and advise you in writing of its decision. Should you need further assistance, go to IRS.gov/uac/Tax-Law-Questions for a wide selection of resources.