Tax Tip: Last-Minute Payment and Filing

Tax Tip: Last-Minute Payment and Filing

If you're trying to beat the tax deadline, there are several options for last-minute help:

  • Receive a six-month extension of time to file using Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
  • Payment options are available to taxpayers having trouble paying their tax bill.
  • Download forms and publications at

Filing an extension will give you extra time to get the paperwork to the IRS and avoids the late-filing penalty, but it does not extend the time you have to pay any tax due. You must estimate your tax liability when you apply for an extension.

You will owe interest on any amounts not paid by the April deadline, and you also will be charged a penalty for late payment unless at least 90 percent of your tax liability is paid by the regular due date of your tax return.

You can also e-file an extension request using tax preparation software on your own computer or by going to a tax preparer.

If your return is completed but you are unable to pay the tax due, do not request an extension. File your return on time and pay as much as you can. The IRS will send you a bill or notice for the balance due and will charge interest and penalties only on the unpaid balance.

If you cannot pay the full amount due with your return, you can ask to make monthly installment payments for the full or a partial amount.  You can apply for an IRS installment agreement using our Web-based Online Payment Agreement application on The Web-based application allows eligible taxpayers or their authorized representatives to self-qualify, apply for, and receive immediate notification of approval. You can also request an installment agreement by submitting a completed Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, either when you file the return or when you later get a bill from the IRS.

For more information regarding extensions of time to file or installment agreements, including options for requesting an installment agreement online, visit the IRS Web site at and click on 1040 Central.

Remember that for the genuine IRS Web site be sure to use .gov. Don't be confused by internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is