If I pay the amount due on my extension for US IRS form 4868 through an IRS approved payment provider that accepts credit cards such as PayUSAtax.com who charge 1.87% for the service and I designate the payment is for form 4868 extension, does the payment and confirmation code I receive constitute everything needed or must I file the form 4868 somehow?

The IRS instructions state in part about credit card payments for individuals:

Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (current year). E-pay by phone or Internet through a service provider and receive an extension of time to file.

The form's instructions state in part:

Making Payments Electronically For information on paying your taxes electronically by using EFTPS or with a credit or debit card, go to www.irs.gov/e-pay. You must enroll in EFTPS before you can use it. Go to www.eftps.gov for details. Confirmation number. You will receive a confirmation number when you pay online or by phone. Enter the confirmation number below and keep for your records. Enter confirmation number here ▶ Note. Do not file a paper Form 4868 if you already submitted it electronically and are not mailing in a payment.

This all seems to imply that the payment constitutes an extension however it talks about submitting the form electronically which I did not do, I only made payment for the form. Should form 4868 somehow still be submitted my paper or electronically or am I done with the extension process?

  • 1
    Note that Form 4868 is extremely short; you probably spent more time typing this question than it would have taken you to just file the form. Nov 16, 2014 at 17:06

2 Answers 2


The 4868 Instructions are ambiguous but Pub 17 explains you do not need to file:

How to get the automatic extension. You can get the automatic extension by:

  1. Using IRS e-file (electronic filing), or

  2. Filing a paper form.

E-file options. There are two ways you can use e-file to get an extension of time to file. Complete Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to use as a worksheet. If you think you may owe tax when you file your return, use Part II of the form to estimate your balance due. If you e-file Form 4868 to the IRS, do not also send a paper Form 4868.

E-file using your personal computer or a tax professional. You can use a tax software package with your personal computer or a tax professional to file Form 4868 electronically. You will need to provide certain information from your tax return for 2012. If you wish to make a payment by direct transfer from your bank account, see Pay online , under How To Pay, later in this chapter.

E-file and pay by credit or debit card or by direct transfer from your bank account. You can get an extension by paying part or all of your estimate of tax due by using a credit or debit card or by direct transfer from your bank account. You can do this by phone or over the Internet. You do not file Form 4868. See Pay online , under How To Pay, later in this chapter.

Filing a paper Form 4868. You can get an extension of time to file by filing a paper Form 4868. Mail it to the address shown in the form instructions.

If you want to make a payment with the form, make your check or money order payable to “United States Treasury.” Write your SSN, daytime phone number, and “2013 Form 4868” on your check or money order.

When to file. You must request the automatic extension by the due date for your return. You can file your return any time before the 6-month extension period ends.

When you file your return. Enter any payment you made related to the extension of time to file on Form 1040, line 68. If you file Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A, include that payment in your total payments on Form 1040EZ, line 9, or Form 1040A, line 41. Also enter “Form 4868” and the amount paid in the space to the left of line 9 or line 41.

So you can either file electronically or you can pay now. If you don't pay, they will charge you interest. Although the 4868 Instructions imply you must e-file, Pub 17 explicitly says not to bother.

Of course, anyone who pays for the automatic extension should remember to report that payment on Form 1040, line 68.

  • So to be clear, the payment system automatically applies the extension? Apr 15, 2014 at 18:09
  • Yes, it would appear so. I was surprised, but Pub 17 is explicit. I've never used the IRS e-pay, but it asks for SSN. That must be enough to match your payment back to you and to your delayed return. Plus it should be included on 1040.
    – NL7
    Apr 15, 2014 at 18:14

I would say not.

Filings and payments are not equal. One can file without paying, and one can pay without filing. They are two separate acts.

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