When To File Form 4868 for 2011 Federal Tax Return – Due Dates, Penalties and Interests
File Form 4868 by April 17, 2012. Fiscal year taxpayers, file Form
4868 by the regular due date of the return.
Taxpayers who are out of the country. If, on the regular due date
of your return, you are out of the country and a U.S. citizen or
resident, you are allowed 2 extra months to file your return and pay
any amount due without requesting an extension. For a calendar
year return, this is June 15, 2012. File this form and be sure to
check the box on line 8 if you need an additional 4 months to file
If you are out of the country and a U.S. citizen or resident, you
may qualify for special tax treatment if you meet the foreign
residence or physical presence tests. If you do not expect to meet
either of those tests by the due date of your return, request an
extension to a date after you expect to qualify using Form 2350,
Application for Extension of Time To File U.S. Income Tax Return.
You are out of the country if:
• You live outside the United States and Puerto Rico and your main
place of work is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or
• You are in military or naval service outside the United States and
If you qualify as being out of the country, you will still be eligible
for the extension even if you are physically present in the United
States or Puerto Rico on the regular due date of the return.
For more information on extensions for taxpayers out of the
country, see Pub. 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident
Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ filers. If you cannot file your return by
the due date, you should file Form 4868. You must file Form 4868
by the regular due date of the return.
If you did not receive wages as an employee subject to U.S.
income tax withholding, and your return is due June 15, 2012,
check the box on line 9.
Total Time Allowed
Generally, we cannot extend the due date of your return for more
than 6 months (October 15, 2012, for most calendar year
taxpayers). However, there may be an exception if you are living
out of the country. See Pub. 54 for more information.
Filing Your Tax Return
You can file your tax return any time before the extension expires.
Do not attach a copy of Form 4868 to your return.
You will owe interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of
your return, even if you qualify for the 2-month extension because
you were out of the country. The interest runs until you pay the tax.
Even if you had a good reason for not paying on time, you will still
Late Payment Penalty
The late payment penalty is usually ½ of 1% of any tax (other than
estimated tax) not paid by April 17, 2012. It is charged for each
month or part of a month the tax is unpaid. The maximum penalty
The late payment penalty will not be charged if you can show
reasonable cause for not paying on time. Attach a statement to
your return fully explaining the reason. Do not attach the statement
to Form 4868.
You are considered to have reasonable cause for the period
covered by this automatic extension if at least 90% of your actual
2011 tax liability is paid before the regular due date of your return
through withholding, estimated tax payments, or payments made
with Form 4868.
Late Filing Penalty
A late filing penalty is usually charged if your return is filed after the
due date (including extensions). The penalty is usually 5% of the
amount due for each month or part of a month your return is late.
The maximum penalty is 25%. If your return is more than 60 days
late, the minimum penalty is $135 or the balance of the tax due on
your return, whichever is smaller. You might not owe the penalty if
you have a reasonable explanation for filing late. Attach a
statement to your return fully explaining the reason. Do not attach
the statement to Form 4868.