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What is Form 7004 and How to Fill it Out

If you need more time to file your business tax return this year, you can submit IRS Form 7004, which grants an automatic six month extension to submit your business tax paperwork. (Just remember: you still have to pay your taxes on time and in full.)

What is Form 7004?

Federal tax extension Form 7004, the “Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns” (PDF), is a one page IRS form that looks like this:

2020 Form 7004

Businesses use this IRS extension form to ask for more time to submit one of their business tax forms. Successfully and properly filing Form 7004 grants you a six month corporate tax extension to file that tax form.

According to the IRS, however, you’re only granted this extension if you:

  1. Complete Form 7004 properly

  2. Make a proper estimate of any taxes you owe

  3. File Form 7004 before or on the deadline of the form you need an extension on

  4. Pay any tax that is due

Who needs to file Form 7004?

Form 7004 will grant you an extension on:

  • Form 1065, the tax return filed by partnerships

  • Form 1120, the tax return used by C corporations

  • Form 1120-S, the tax return used by S corporations

  • Form 1065, the tax return used by limited liability corporations (LLC) filing as partnerships

It also covers more than a dozen other IRS forms, which we’ve listed below.

What does Form 7004 not cover?

Form 7004 covers every business entity type except for sole proprietorships, which file their taxes using Form 1040 and use Form 4868 to apply for an extension instead.

Another exception is Form 1041-A, an information return some organizations use to report charitable information. To get an extension on that form, you’ll have to file Form 8868.

Remember that Form 7004 does not grant you a tax payment extension. If you expect to owe taxes, you still have to pay them on time. Check out our guide to estimating your tax liability for determining how much you owe.

How to fill out Form 7004

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

Form 7004 is divided into two parts.

Part 1: Pick which form you need a Form 7004 extension for

2020 Form 7004 Part I

Here you specify which exact tax form you’re filing this 7004 for. If you need an IRS extension for more than one tax form, you’ll have to file a separate Form 7004 for each one.

Pick from this list to specify which form you’re getting an IRS filing extension for:

  • 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 1120S, 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

Part 2: Organization and tax information

2020 Form 7004 Part II

Lines 2-5

Here you’ll have to answer some questions about whether your business is a foreign corporation and whether you have any corporate subsidiaries. (See the Form 7004 instructions page if that’s the case.)

You’ll also have to specify which tax year you’re filing for, and whether your business uses a calendar year or a fiscal year for its accounting.

(The fiscal year is the reporting period used by businesses that don’t follow the regular calendar year, which ends on December 31st.)

Lines 6-8

Here you must specify how much tax you expect to owe this tax year, how much of it you’ve paid, and whether or not you have a balance due.

Further reading: How to Calculate Your Tax Liability

Does Form 7004 need to be signed?

No, you don’t have to include a signature with Form 7004.

How to file form 7004 electronically

Form 7004 can be e-filed through the IRS’s modernized e-filing system. You’ll need an e-services login and password to do so.

Where to mail form 7004

You can also mail 7004 to one of the Form 7004 mailing addresses listed here.

Just remember that mailed-in forms generally take longer to process than e-filed ones. Mail in your 7004 too late, and you might get a penalty notice.

According to the IRS, returns you mail them are considered filed on time if “the envelope is properly addressed, has enough postage, is postmarked, and is deposited in the mail by the due date.”

When is Form 7004 due?

Your 7004 must be filed on or before the due date of the applicable tax return.

Keep in mind that the IRS tax extension granted by Form 7004 is automatic when you file properly, and that the IRS will not contact you if your application is successful. They’ll only get in touch if your application for an extension is unsuccessful.

How long is the IRS filing extension?

For most of the business IRS tax forms, you receive a filing extension of six months.

Estates and trusts filing Form 1041 get five and a half months, while C corporations with tax years ending June 30 are eligible for a 7-month extension.

How can Bench help

With Bench Tax, you have access to a tax professional year-round. They’ll answer the questions you have to reduce your tax bill. Stay on top of your documents as your bookkeeper and tax professional request everything as the year goes on. That means no more last minute stress of digging through receipts and paperwork, just peace of mind knowing you’ll never miss another deadline again. If you’ve slipped behind on your books, our catch up service will make quick work of them to prepare you for the deadline. Learn more.

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This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

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