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Form 7004 - Extension for Business Tax Returns

Dates and Process for Filing an Extension Application

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Definition:

Form 7004 is the form used to file for an automatic extension of time to file your business tax return for a partnership, a multiple member LLC filing as a partnership, a corporation, or s-corporation.

Taxes must be paid by due date: The IRS says, "Form 7004 does not extend the time for payment of tax." You must pay taxes due (estimated) by your tax return due date, even if you file an extension application. You will need to estimate as best you can, because under-estimating can subject your business to fines and penalties.

Due Dates for Returns and Extension Applications

Corporate tax returns:  Corporation tax returns are due and taxes are payable on the 15th day of the third month after the end of the company's fiscal (financial) year, on Form 1120. So, a corporation with a year-end date of December 31 must file and pay taxes by March 15 (March 17, 2014, for December 31, 2013, year-end corporations.)

S corporation tax returns: S corporations must take a December 31 year-end to coincide with the tax return due date of the owners, so S corporation tax returns are due March 15 (March 17, 2014, for 2013 s corporation taxes, filed on Form 1120-S.

Extension applications for all business taxes must be filed by the tax return due date and taxes must be paid by the due date, even if an extension application is being filed. The taxes due must be estimated and the balance paid at the time the return is filed.

Partnership tax returns: Business tax returns for partnerships (including multiple-member LLC tax returns, which are considered as corporations) on Form 1065 are due April 15.

Automatic Extension Time Limit
Corporations and S corporations have 6 months from the extension due date to file the tax return. So, a December 31 corporation would have six months from March 15 (or March 17, 2014) to file the appropriate tax return - September 15.

Partnerships and multiple-member LLC's have 5 months from the extension due date to file the tax return. So, a partnership would have until September 15 to file the partnership tax return.

How to Complete Form 7004
Form 7004 is used to file an extension application for corporations, S corporations, partnerships, and multiple-member LLC's filing as partnerships. Form 7004 is a short form, by IRS standards. It only requires you to:

  • Include the name and address and Tax ID number (usually the employer ID number) for your business
  • Enter the code for the tax return you are preparing:
    • Form 1065 for partnerships and multiple member LLCs
    • Form 1120 for corporations
    • Form 1120S for subchapter s-corporations
  • Indicate if this is a short tax year, for new businesses or businesses ending that year
  • Show the tentative total tax
  • Show the total payments and credit
  • And show the balance due.

Where to Send Form 7004

The IRS has a chart showing where to file Form 7004, depending on the tax return being filed and the location of your business.

You can also file your business tax return extension application online using your tax return preparation software, or your tax preparer can file online for you.

More information from the IRS about Form 7004 (PDF)

 

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