What Is IRS Form 7004?

IRS Form 7004 Explained

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IRS Form 7004 is the "Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns." It's used to request more time to file business tax returns for partnerships, multiple-member LLCs filing as partnerships, corporations, or S corporations.

As the name suggests, you're guaranteed an extension when you file Form 7004, but only if you properly estimate your tax due, file by the appropriate deadline, and complete the form correctly.

What Is Form 7004?

Form 7004 covers a wide variety of returns, and it grants an additional six months to file. It doesn't extend payment deadlines, however, and the IRS must receive it on or before the original tax deadline, which is March 15 for some businesses.

IRS Form 7004

Who Uses Form 7004?

Most businesses can use Form 7004 to request an extension of time to file various tax and information returns. The form serves as an extension application for corporations, S corporations, partnerships, and multiple-member LLC's filing as partnerships.

One exception is an extension to file Form 1041-A, the "Trust Accumulation of Charitable Amounts," which is an information statement. You can ask for an extension of time to file this form by filing Form 8868.

If your business is in Texas or another area where FEMA issued a disaster declaration due to winter storms in 2021, you won't need to request an extension for filing your 2020 taxes. The IRS has extended the filing and payment deadlines for businesses in these affected areas from March 15 and April 15, 2021, to June 15, 2021.

Where to Get Form 7004

An interactive version of Form 7004 is available on the IRS website. You can fill it in online, or you can print it out and complete it by hand.

How to Fill Out Form 7004

Form 7004 is a relatively short form by IRS standards. It only requires that you enter the name, address, and tax ID number for your business. The tax ID number is typically your employer ID number.

Then enter the appropriate code for the tax return you'll be filing. For example:

  • Enter Code 25 if the extension application is for an S corporation (Form 1120-S).
  • Enter Code 09 if the extension application is for a partnership or multiple-member LLC (Form 1065).
  • Enter Code 12 if the extension application is for a corporation (Form 1120).

Form 7004 includes a complete list of codes for all types of businesses and their respective returns.

The form then asks whether your business qualifies under Regulations section 1.6081-5 of the Internal Revenue Code. This section is used by foreign corporations, domestic corporations that transact business and keep books outside the U.S., or domestic corporations whose principal income derives from U.S. possessions.

Next, indicate if this is a short tax year for your business, and check the box for the reason.

Show the tentative total tax. This is the estimated amount of tax due for the business for that year.

You'll have to do some calculations to arrive at your tentative tax if you haven't yet completed at least a rough draft of your tax return. Form 7004 does not extend the time you have to pay any tax that's due.

Show the total payments and any credits applied to your account, and subtract this number from the tentative total tax. Finally, show the balance due. You can pay by debit or credit card, but you should use your business account. 

Can Form 7004 Be E-Filed?

You can file Form 7004 in two ways: by mail or by e-filing. Use the Modernized E-File system to e-file your extension application if you don't use a tax professional to file your return. This system allows you to choose a provider from a list. 

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

Where to Mail Form 7004

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

Requirements for Filing Form 7004

The due date for filing extensions on any federal income tax return is the due date of the tax return. Tax return due dates can change slightly from year to year. The due date is moved to the next business day if it falls on a weekend or holiday.

In 2021, the IRS extended the filing deadline for 2020 individual income tax returns from April 15 to May 17, 2021. This applies only to individuals, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. It does not apply to partnerships, corporations, or anyone else who would need to file Form 7004.

This is an automatic extension, so you don't have to worry about your request being approved. You must then file your tax return by the extension deadline.

Corporate Tax Return and Extension Due Dates

The Form 1120 tax return, used by corporations, is due, and taxes are payable on the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the company's fiscal year.

A corporation with a year-end date of December 31 must file and pay taxes by April 15. This is also the date by which the extension application must be submitted.

Corporations have six months from the extension application due date to file the tax return, so they would have until October 15 to file the actual return.

Partnership Tax Return Due Date and Extension Due Date

The due date for partnership and multiple-member LLC tax returns, Form 1065, is the 15th day of the third month after the end of the partnership's fiscal year.

The due date is March 15 for a December 31 year-end. This date was April 15 prior to the 2015 tax year. This is also the date by which the extension must be filed.

Partnerships and multiple-member LLC's have six months from the extension due date to file their tax returns, so they would have until September 15.

S Corporation Tax Return Due Date and Extension Due Date

S corporations must take a December 31 year-end to coincide with the tax return due date of their owners, so S corporation tax returns are due March 15.

They're filed on Form 1120-S. This is also the date by which the extension must be filed.

Key Takeaways

  • IRS Form 7004 requests an automatic extension of time to file numerous business tax returns.
  • This form is used by partnerships, multiple-member LLCs filing as partnerships, corporations, and S corporations.
  • Form 7004 doesn’t extend the deadline for payment of any taxes due, but only for filing a return. Some tentative calculations are necessary to arrive at an estimated amount of tax due.
  • The form must be submitted to the IRS by the original deadline for the tax return.