If You Filed a Federal Tax Return Extension for 2017 Your Return is Due by October 15th

If you filed an Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (Form 4868) to file your 2017 Federal tax return the deadline to file your return is October 15, 2018.

While taxpayers may file a Form 4868 requesting a 6-month filing extension, it is important to remember that the extension applies only to filing your tax return – not to paying any tax due. Tax must be paid by the regular due date (usually April 15th).

Paying after the regular due date will result in interest being charged, and can result in a late payment penalty as well.

Filing Your Tax Return

You can file your tax return any time before the extension expires.


You’ll owe interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return, even if you qualify for the extension. The interest runs until you pay the tax. Even if you had a good reason for not paying on time, you will still owe interest.

Late Payment Penalty

The late payment penalty is usually ½ of 1% of any tax (other than estimated tax) not paid by April 17, 2018. It is charged for each month or part of a month the tax is unpaid. The maximum penalty is 25%.

The late payment penalty won’t be charged if you can show reasonable cause for not paying on time. Attach a statement to your return fully explaining the reason.

You’re considered to have reasonable cause for the period covered by this automatic extension if both of the following requirements have been met.
1. At least 90% of the total tax on your 2017 return is paid on or before the regular due date of your return through withholding, estimated tax payments, or payments made with Form 4868.
2. The remaining balance is paid with your return.

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 $210 (adjusted for inflation) 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 your reason for filing late. Don’t attach the statement to Form 4868.

Do you Have a Federal Tax Issue You Need Help With?

The Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic – Low Income Taxpayer Clinic can consult with you to provide advice regarding your IRS tax issues, and/or potentially act on your behalf for FREE if you qualify for assistance (come to a clinic intake session)!


Jim Floyd is the Staff Enrolled Agent at the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic – Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. As an Enrolled Agent, Jim is a federally-licensed tax practitioner with unlimited rights to represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service. This means he is unrestricted as to which taxpayers he can represent, what types of tax matters he can handle, and which IRS offices he can represent clients before. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards.

Sources: Internal Revenue Service