Filing an Extension for Your Federal Income Taxes As a Service Member

Two service members sitting at a desk looking at a computer monitor.

Filing your taxes after the deadline is more common than you think. If you need more time, you can request an extension for your federal taxes without penalty. But you need to file the request before tax day.

Not sure how? No problem, contact MilTax, Military OneSource tax services, to speak with a trained MilTax consultant free of charge. This service is exclusive to members of the military and eligible family members. MilTax also offers free tax preparation and filing software. Call 800-342-9647 to speak to a MilTax consultant.

Types of extensions


MilTax at 800-342-9647 for help on filing an extension.

MilTax services can help you decide which extension to file. The three situations that may grant you a tax filing extension include:

  • Automatic extension. If you can't file your return by the due date, you can get an automatic extension by filing Form 4868 electronically. You must request it before the filing due date. Keep in mind that if you owe taxes, you'll be charged interest from the date the payment is due.
  • Extension for individuals living outside the United States. If your duty station or post is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, you automatically qualify for a two-month extension. To receive this extension, you must attach a statement to your return explaining your situation and how you qualify for an extension. If you can't file your return within the two-month extension, you can request an additional four months. Extensions of more than six months generally aren't granted. If you owe any taxes, interest will start accruing from the date the tax is due.
  • Extension for individuals serving in a combat zone. If you serve in a combat zone an automatic extension is granted for filing your tax return, paying any tax you owe and filing a claim for a refund. For more information on combat zone taxes, please visit the Internal Revenue Service's publication, "Service That Qualifies for an Extension of Deadline."

If the Internal Revenue Service sends you a notice of examination before learning that you're entitled to a deadline extension, contact your legal assistance office.

MilTax services

MilTax provides free, year-round access to trained tax consultants and financial counselors. They can answer your questions, help you maximize your refund and assist you in requesting an extension for filing your federal income tax form. With MilTax, you'll get service the way you want it— with speed, accuracy and flexibility.

When you are ready to file your actual tax return(s), access MilTax, which includes free tax prep and filing software, by calling 800-342-9647 or visiting MilTax.


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