Use Form 4868 for a Stress-Free Tax Filing Extension

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3 min. read

Are you an American abroad and need more time to file your US taxes? Form 4868 offers an extended filing deadline till October 15. This article explains what Form 4868 exactly entails and how it can help you to buy more time to file your taxes.

What is Form 4868?

If you are an American abroad and you can’t make the June 15 filing deadline, just make sure you file Form 4868. This form, also known as the “application for automatic extension of time to submit US individual income tax return”, could be a lifeline as it gives you time till October 15 to file your expat tax return.

Why is Form 4868 useful for US Expats?

As an American abroad, you may face unique challenges when filing your taxes, such as dealing with your local tax return, navigating tax treaties, and understanding all the expat tax laws. For example, you might need more time to file as you are still waiting on your local tax return to be completed or just waiting for the document set to prepare your US tax return. In these cases, it would be beneficial to file Form 4868 to get extra time to file your US expat tax return till October 15.

How to prepare Form 4868?

Here’s a step plan on how to complete the extension Form 4868:

  1. Personal info (line 1-3)
    Complete your personal info and when filing jointly you also need to add the spouse’s personal information.
  2. Estimated tax liability (line 4)
    Indicate how much tax you think you’ll owe. If you expect a refund, just enter 0.
  3. IRS payments (line 5)
    Here you indicate how much payments you did to the IRS already for the tax year.
  4. Balance due (line 6)
    Just subtract line 5 from line 4 to get an estimated balance due. If you have a refund, enter the amount on line 7.
  5. Amount you’re paying (line 7)
    On line 7, enter the amount of payment you’re with the extension request. This can be zero if you don’t owe any balances at the time of filing.
  6. Out of the country (line 8)
    Check line 8 if you are an American abroad.

What happens after you file Form 4868?

You automatically receive the extension till Oct 15 to file your tax return from the IRS once you complete Form 4868. This indicates that you can file your taxes without paying a late filing penalty till October 15th.

Note that Form 4868 only extends the deadline for filing your return; it does not extend the deadline for making any required tax payments. Any sum remaining unpaid after the first due date of April 18 will continue to be subject to interest and any applicable late payment fees.


In conclusion, US citizens living abroad who require an extension to file their taxes might consider using Form 4868. You can prevent fines by submitting this form, which also guarantees the accuracy and completeness of your tax return.

Make careful to pay as much as you can by the original due date because the extension only pertains to submitting your return, not to making tax payments. Do not hesitate to contact our helpdesk if you require assistance with your tax return or have any queries.