Individuals must file a request for a tax-filing extension by the April 15 regular tax deadline, according to the Internal Revenue Service. An automatic six-month extension can be obtained, giving taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file their tax return.
To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate tax liability and pay any amount due, explains the IRS. The extension is available to any taxpayer regardless of income. By filing for an extension, taxpayers avoid the late-filing penalty, which is typically 5 percent per month based on the unpaid balance for returns filed after the April 15 deadline. Additionally, payments made with an extension request reduce or eliminate interest and late-payment penalties applied to payments made after April 15.