Finances and Taxes

The Small Business Owners Guide to Form 7004 to Get a Tax Extension

Kim Porter  

Need more time to file your taxes? Most businesses can use Form 7004 to receive an automatic six-month tax-filing extension

Although you’ll still need to pay your business taxes by the usual deadline, having an extension will give you a few extra months to get your paperwork in order. And there’s no penalty involved with the extension as long as you submit the form before the tax-filing deadline. Here’s the lowdown on how to fill out and file Form 7004. 

What is Form 7004?

IRS Form 7004 is called the “Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns.” Whew—that’s a mouthful, right? In plain terms, Form 7004 is a tax form most business owners can use to request more time to file their business income tax returns. 

To successfully use Form 7004, you’ll have to:

  • Complete Form 7004 
  • Estimate and pay the taxes you owe
  • File Form 7004 before or on the deadline of the appropriate tax form

Make sure you calculate your tax bill right. The IRS may charge penalties and interest on unpaid tax balances until you pay up.

Who can file Form 7004?

Most business entities—with the exception of sole proprietors—can file Form 7004. Here are the business types that can use Form 7004:

  • C-corps
  • S-corps
  • Single-member LLCs
  • Partnerships
  • Multiple-member LLCs

You’ll need to file 7004 on or before the due date of the applicable tax return. The approval process is automatic, so you won’t receive a confirmation if your request is successful. The agency will contact you if it decides to reject the request, though. 

Most businesses that successfully file this form receive a six-month filing extension. 

Who can’t file Form 7004?

Sole proprietors won’t use Form 7004 to request a tax-filing extension. Because there’s no legal separation between the business and the business owner, sole proprietors can file IRS Form 4868 to receive an automatic filing extension. The deadline to file this year is May 17, 2021, and the extension is good through Oct. 15, 2021. You’ll need to pay any taxes due by the May deadline, though. 

Another exception is Form 1041-A, which some businesses use to report charitable information. To request an extension on this form, business owners should file Form 8868

Good to know: Due to recent winter storms in the Southwest, the IRS has extended the tax filing deadline for individuals and sole proprietors in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. If you’re based in one of these states, you automatically have until June 15, 2021, to file your income tax return. If you need to file your return after June 15, then you can use Form 7004 to request that extension.

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Where can I find Form 7004?

You can find Form 7004 on the IRS website and either fill it in online or print it out and complete it by hand.

How to file Form 7004

Form 7004 is just one page long, and it’s broken into two sections. Here’s how to fill out the form and file it with the IRS:

Gather your information 

You’ll need the following information to fill out Form 7004:

  • Your name, address, and contact information
  • Your employer identification number (EIN) or tax ID
  • Your business entity type
  • Which tax forms you’re filing an extension for
  • The tax you expect to owe

Fill out Part I

This section has just one line, where you’ll specify which tax form you need an extension for. If you plan to file more than one tax form, you’ll need to file a separate Form 7004 for each one. Here’s the list you can choose from:

  • Form 706-GS(D), Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return For Distributions
  • Form 706-GS(T), Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return For Terminations
  • Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts
  • Form 1041-N, U.S. Income Tax Return for Electing Alaska Native Settlement Trusts
  • Form 1041-QFT, U.S. Income Tax Return for Qualified Funeral Trusts
  • Form 1042, Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons
  • Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income
  • Form 1066, U.S. Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC) Income Tax Return
  • Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return 
  • Form 1120-C, U.S. Income Tax Return for Cooperative Associations 
  • Form 1120-F, U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation 
  • Form 1120-FSC, U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Sales Corporation 
  • Form 1120-H, U.S. Income Tax Return for Homeowners Associations
  • Form 1120-L, U.S. Life Insurance Company Income Tax Return 
  • Form 1120-ND, Return for Nuclear Decommissioning Funds and Certain Related Persons
  • Form 1120-PC, U.S. Property and Casualty Insurance Company Income Tax Return
  • Form 1120-POL, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations
  • Form 1120-REIT, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • Form 1120-RIC, U.S. Income Tax Return for Regulated Investment Companies 
  • Form 1120-S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation
  • Form 1120-SF, U.S. Income Tax Return for Settlement Funds (Under Section 468B)
  • Form 3520-A, Annual Information Return of Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner
  • Form 8612, Return of Excise Tax on Undistributed Income of Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • Form 8613, Return of Excise Tax on Undistributed Income of Regulated Investment Companies
  • Form 8725, Excise Tax on Greenmail 
  • Form 8804, Annual Return for Partnership Withholding Tax (Section 1446)
  • Form 8831, Excise Taxes on Excess Inclusions of REMIC Residual Interests 
  • Form 8876, Excise Tax on Structured Settlement Factoring Transactions 
  • Form 8924, Excise Tax on Certain Transfers of Qualifying Geothermal or Mineral Interests
  • Form 8928, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapter 43 of the Internal Revenue Code

Fill out Part II

In this section, you’ll answer some questions about your business structure, the tax year you’re filing for, and how much tax you expect to owe. Here’s the section broken down by line:

  • Line 2: Check the box here if your business is a foreign corporation with offices outside the U.S.
  • Line 3: Check the box here if your business’s parent company intends to file a consolidated return. You’ll need to attach a list of all members of the consolidated group showing the name, address, and EIN for each member of the group.
  • Line 4: If your business is a corporation or partnership that qualifies under Regulations section 1.6081-5, check the box here.
  • Line 5a: Enter the information about the tax year your business uses.
  • Line 5b: Check the applicable box to explain the reason you have a short tax year.
  • Line 6: Calculate the amount you expect to owe for the tax year. If you don’t expect to owe taxes, enter 0. 
  • Line 7: If you’ve already made payments or claimed refundable credits, enter the amount here.
  • Line 8: Subtract line 7 from line 6 to get your balance due, and enter it here.

Submit the form

There are two ways to submit Form 7004:

  • E-file: Business owners can set up an e-services login profile and file Form 7004 through the IRS’s e-filing system.
  • Mail it in: Owners can also mail Form 7004 to one of the mailing addresses listed by the IRS. Returns are considered filed on time if they’re dropped in the mail by the due date of the applicable form.

Once you’ve submitted the form, you have a few months to get your paperwork in order. In the meantime, make sure you stay on top of quarterly estimated taxes and get to work filing your business taxes.

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Kim Porter
Kim Porter Kim Porter covers personal finance topics for AARP The Magazine, Bankrate, U.S. News & World Report, Reviewed, Credit Karma, and more. When she’s not writing, you can find her training for her next race, reading, or planning her next big trip. Twitter | LinkedIn

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