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Understanding Form 7004 vs Form 4868:
Extensions for Business and Individual Taxpayers

Businesses and individuals may experience stress during tax season. Thankfully, the IRS offers options for people who need more time to submit their forms. Forms 7004 and 4868 are two commonly used forms for requesting extensions.

TaxZerone supports you in understanding the differences among various types of forms and choosing the most appropriate one for your needs.

Below is a detailed comparison of Form 7004 and Form 4868:

Form 7004Form 4868
EligibilityExtension for certain business-related tax returnsExtension for individual income tax return
Extension Period6-month extension6-month extension
Types of Returns coveredPartnerships (Form 1065), certain trusts (Form 1041), certain estates (Form 1041),
C corporations (Form 1120),
S corporations (Form 1120S), certain information returns
Individual income tax return (Form 1040)
DeadlineFor calendar-year taxpayers, this means filing by March 15th for most businesses.For most taxpayers, this entails filing by April 15th.

Form 7004

What is Form 7004?

IRS Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Specific Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns, is a document that addresses the requirements of different types of business entities, estates, and trusts.

What is the eligibility to File Form 7004?

Form 7004 is designed for a wide array of entities, including C-corporations, S-corporations, partnerships, multiple-member LLCs, trusts, estates, and other business structures mandated to file specific types of income tax returns.

Here is a comprehensive breakdown of the organizations that can file Form 7004:

  • C-corporations (Form 1120)
  • S-corporations (Form 1120S)
  • Partnerships (Form 1065)
  • Multiple-member LLCs as Corporations and Partnerships
  • Trust, Estates and Others (Form 1041)

What is the extension period for Filing Form 7004?

Form 7004 permits most business tax returns to be extended for a maximum of 6 months. On the other hand, an extra extension of up to five and a half months might be possible for specific trusts and estates.

What are the Types of Returns Covered?

Form 7004 can be used to request an extension for several tax returns, such as informative returns for particular trusts and estates and income tax returns for corporations, partnerships, and specific trusts and estates. Some of the common types of returns that can be extended using Form 7004 include:

  • C-Corporations (Form 1120): Large businesses organized as C-corporations usually deal with complicated financial records and heavy tax reporting obligations. These businesses can get more time to ensure everything is accurate and compliant by filing Form 7004 extension.
  • S-Corporations(Form 1120S): Smaller companies set up as S-corporations profit from Form 7004's flexibility. S-corporations can take advantage of this extension to delay the tax filing procedure, whether they are comparing financial statements or managing intricate tax deductions.
  • Partnerships(Form 1065): General partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships can include multiple participants and extensive financial arrangements. By filing Form 7004 to request an extension, partnerships can evaluate their tax obligations in detail without having to worry about approaching deadlines.
  • Multiple-Member LLCs as Corporations and Partnerships: Form 7004 is also available to Limited Liability Organizations (LLCs) with multiple members who have elected to be taxed as partnerships or corporations. These groups can benefit from the additional time granted by filing an extension, regardless of whether they are set up for liability protection or tax efficiency.
  • Trusts, Estates, and Others(Form 1041): In addition to standard corporate forms, the complexity of tax compliance could require more work from trusts, estates, and other entities. These organizations have a remedy in Form 7004, which lets them ask for an extension without having to worry about paying penalties for filing late.

When is the deadline for filing Form 7004?

For most businesses operating on a regular calendar year, the deadline to file Form 7004 is the same as the original due date of the tax return.

  • For corporations, the standard deadline is typically March 15th.
  • For partnerships, it is usually April 15th.

Here's a detailed breakdown of deadlines based on the business type:

Form NameDue DateExtended Deadline
  • Form 1042
  • Form 1065
  • Form 1066
  • Form 1120-S
  • Form 3520-A
  • Form 8804
  • Form 8924
March 15, 2024September 15, 2024
  • Form 706-GS(T)
  • Form 1041 (bankruptcy estate only)
  • Form 1041 (estate other than a bankruptcy estate)
  • Form 1041 (trust)
  • Form 1041-N
  • Form 1041-QFT
  • Form 1120
  • Form 1120-C
  • Form 1120-F
  • Form 1120-FSC
  • Form 1120-H
  • Form 1120-L
  • Form 1120-ND
  • Form 1120-ND (section 4951 taxes)
  • Form 1120-PC
  • Form 1120-POL
  • Form 1120-REIT
  • Form 1120-RIC
  • Form 1120-SF
  • Form 8928
April 15, 2024October 15, 2024

Form 7004 deadline for businesses that operate on a fiscal tax year The 15th day of the third month following the end of the tax year is the deadline for completing Form 7004 for companies that operate on a fiscal tax year or with non-calendar year-end dates. For example, the deadline for Form 7004 would be September 15th if the fiscal year of a business finishes on June 30th. Form 7004 can be submitted by these companies to extend the deadline.

Form 4868

What is Form 4868?

Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 4868, is designed only for individual taxpayers who need more time to finish their personal income tax returns.

What is the eligibility to File Form 4868?

Form 4868 is tailored for individual taxpayers, which includes persons with special tax circumstances, married couples filing jointly, and single filers. Here's a detailed overview of the eligibility criteria for filing Form 4868:

  1. Individual Taxpayers: Individual taxpayers who use Form 1040 to file their taxes are the intended recipients of Form 4868, which includes:
    • Individual filers
    • Married couples filing jointly
    • Married couples filing separately
    • Head of household filers
    • Widows or widowers who have dependent children are eligible.
  2. Taxpayers in Particular Circumstances: Form 4868 filing may also be appropriate for people with special circumstances, such as those who live overseas or are members of the armed forces stationed outside of the US and Puerto Rico.
  3. Taxpayers with Complex Tax Situations: To make sure they have enough time to accurately complete their tax returns, taxpayers with complex tax situations—such as those with multiple sources of income, substantial deductions or credits, or intricate financial transactions—may find it helpful to file Form 4868.
  4. Taxpayers Unable to Meet the Original Filing Deadline: Form 4868 should be used by taxpayers to request an extension if they are unable to file by the April 15th deadline for a variety of reasons, including unanticipated life events, financial hardships, or missing tax documentation.

What is the extension period for Filing Form 4868?

Similar to Form 7004, Form 4868 allows for a maximum extension of six months. This means that individuals may extend their filing due from April 15th to October 15th.

What are the Types of Returns Covered?

Form 4868 is only used to extend the deadline for filing individual income tax returns (Form 1040). Here are the types of returns covered by Form 4868:

  • Form 1040: U.S. Individual Tax Return: This is the standard form used by most U.S. taxpayers to file their annual income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It covers various types of income, deductions, and credits.
  • Form 1040-SR: U.S. Tax Return for Seniors: This is a special form for taxpayers who are 65 years of age or older. Though it contains a larger type and a few lines specifically designed for elderly taxpayers, it is similar to Form 1040.
  • Form 1040-NR: U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return: This form is usually used by nonresident aliens with U.S. income or business dealings to report income, credits, and deductions and calculate their tax obligations.
  • Form 1040-PR: Self-Employment Tax Return-Puerto Rico: This form is used by self-employed individuals who are residents of Puerto Rico to report their self-employment income and calculate their self-employment tax liability.
  • Form 1040-SS: U.S. Self-Employment Tax Return: To record their self-employment income and determine their self-employment tax liability, self-employed people who live in U.S. territories other than Puerto Rico—such as Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands—use this form.

When is the deadline for filing Form 4868?

The deadline to file Form 4868 for the 2023 tax year is April 15, 2024. The original due date of your tax return must be met by the filing of this form.

If you miss the April 15th deadline, the IRS will consider your return late and you may face penalties and interest.

Key dates for the 2023 tax year:
  • April 15th, 2024: The deadline for individual tax returns without an extension, and also the last day to file Form 4868 for an automatic 6-month extension.
  • October 15, 2024: Extended deadline for filing individual tax returns if Form 4868 was filed by April 15th.

Want to extend your income tax return deadline?

E-file Extension Form 4868 with the IRS using TaxZerone. Complete the entire filing process within 5 minutes. Easy and Secure filing.

E-file Form 4868

Choosing the Right Form with TaxZerone: Factors to Consider

A few things to think about when choosing between Form 7004 and Form 4868 are as follows:
  • Entity Type: Form 7004 is most likely the best option if you are an estate, trust, or business. Individuals are required to submit Form 4868.
  • Type of Tax Return: Choose the type of tax return that you must submit. While Form 4868 is only related to individual income tax returns, Form 7004 covers a wide range of company income tax returns.
  • Extension Period: Although all forms allow for a maximum six-month extension, certain companies can be qualified for longer ones. Verify the pertinent guidelines and due dates for your situation.
  • Filing Deadline: Submit the extension form by the first tax return due date to avoid paying penalties for filing beyond the deadline.

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