Instructions for IRS Form 7004

By Jennifer Ramirez
An extension is the perfect solution when you need more time to get your business affairs in order.
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Individuals and businesses that find the need to request more time to complete their tax returns can receive extensions from the IRS if they file the proper forms. IRS form 7004 can give your business a five or six month extension of time to file. The type of tax forms you must use for your return will determine which extension your business qualifies for. The form must be completed and submitted to the IRS before the due date of the tax return in order for the extension to be processed.

Obtain a copy of both the IRS form 7004 and the instructions for the IRS form 7004. The IRS website provides PDF versions of these documents. You can save the form to your computer and print when complete.

Fill in the name, contact information and EIN or identifying number for the business. This information should match the information used on the business tax returns. Some businesses may not have an EIN and may use the Social Security number of the business owner.

Look at the list of Form Codes printed on the Form 7004 and select the one that matches the type of business tax return you will be filing. If you are filing Form 1065, 1041 or 8804 you will qualify for a five month extension. All other business forms listed qualify for a six month extension. Consult the IRS website or a tax professional if you are not sure which base form you need to file for your business.

Enter the code you selected on line 1a for a five month extension or 1b for a six month extension. Be advised that you may only apply for one extension per Form 7004. If you have more than one business that needs an extension, you will have to submit more than one form.

Check the box on line 2 if your business is a foreign corporation lacking an office location in the United States. If your business has a location in the United States, leave this box empty.

Create a list of the names, addresses and EINs for all consolidated group members of your corporation, if applicable, on an 8.5 by 11 inch sheet of paper and attach the list to the form. This only applies to corporations made up of a consolidated group. In the case of a consolidated group, the Form 7004 must be filled out by the "common parent" of the group.

Fill in the information on line 4 if your business meets the requirements of regulations section 1.6081-5 and are, therefore, automatically granted a three month extension of time to file and pay. Your business may qualify if it is a foreign-owned business with a location in the United States, an American-owned business that operates and records its records only outside of the United States or an American-owned business that receives all of its income from operations in U.S. possessions, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Fill in line 5 if your fiscal year does not follow the calendar year. If this is the case, put the dates for your fiscal year on line 5a and check the appropriate box on 5b stating the reason your business does not operate using the calendar year.

Calculate the amount of tax you expect your business to owe for the tax year in question. Use the appropriate tax table or calculation method to determine this amount. Although you are requesting this extension so you will have time to complete your return and determine the appropriate amount, the IRS still expects you to estimate as accurately as you can while completing Form 7004.

Fill in line 7 with the amount you paid throughout the year plus any credits that you expect your business to qualify for on the return. Payments include any quarterly payments made to the IRS or prior year refund amounts that you elected to have applied to the tax year in question.

Calculate the amount of your company's balance due by subtracting the amount on line 7 from the amount on line 6. The amount on line 8 must be paid by the tax return due date, typically April 15th, though the date may vary depending on weekends or federal holidays. Form 7004 grants you an extension to file the return, not an extension to pay.

Mail your Form 7004 to the address that corresponds to your business's tax situation. The list of addresses is available on page 4 of the instructions for Form 7004. The extension form and any required attachments must be mailed by the original tax return due date.

About the Author

Jennifer Ramirez is a school district administrator with more than 10 years experience as a tax professional. She has extensive experience in the field of mathematics and science and maintains a blog about cooking and sustainable living. Ramirez holds a Master of Science in elementary education.