Meeting deadlines is stressful when you’re running a business. Many small business owners are especially stressed when it comes to meeting IRS tax filing deadlines. Don’t you just wish you had a way to extend your filing due date? Cue Form 8809.
What is Form 8809?
Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time To File Information Returns, is an IRS form that businesses can use to extend the due date of some reports. You can file this form to submit an extension request for information returns.
What is an information return? Third parties, like businesses, file information returns to provide tax-related information to government agencies and taxpayers.
Information returns Form 8809 extends
So, what information returns can Form 8809 extend? The form extends the filing deadlines for Forms:
You cannot use Form 8809 to extend the filing deadline of other forms not listed above. For example, don’t file the form to extend your business tax filing deadline.
How long is the extension period?
Filing Form 8809 gives you more time to complete critical information returns like Form 1099-NEC and Form W-2.
You can extend your information return’s deadline 30 days by filing IRS Form 8809.
If you need more time, you may be able to submit an additional Form 8809 before the 30-day period ends. You cannot request an additional 30 days for Forms W-2 and 1099-NEC (nonemployee compensation).
File your information returns when they are ready, before the extension period ends. Do not attach a copy of Form 8809 with the return unless you file Form 8027 on paper.
Are you eligible to file?
To receive an extension for Form 1099-NEC and the W-2 form, you must meet certain requirements:
- You suffered a catastrophic event in a federally declared disaster area that made you unable to resume operations or access records
- You were affected by a fire, casualty, or natural disaster that affected operations
- The individual responsible for filing died, was absent, or had a serious illness
- This is your business’s first year
- You did not receive data on a payee statement in time to prepare an accurate return
If you want to submit an additional 30-day extension request for the other forms, you must meet one of the above requirements.
How to file Form 8809
Like most IRS forms, you can file Form 8809 online or on paper.
If you decide to file online, you have two options. You can either submit a Form 8809 fill-in form through the IRS’s FIRE System or submit a file containing the form electronically through the FIRE System.
The online fill-in form option is an automatic extension. You cannot use the Form 8809 online fill-in form option if you are requesting an extension for Forms W-2, 1099-NEC, 1099-QA, or 5498-QA. Also, you cannot use the fill-in form method to request an additional 30 days.
You can submit files electronically through the FIRE System regardless of which forms you want an extension for.
If you submit a paper Form 8809, mail the form to the IRS. Keep in mind that the IRS prefers electronic requests.
When is the IRS Form 8809 filing deadline?
Because you can use Form 8809 to extend your filing deadline for a number of forms, the Form 8809 filing due date varies.
You must file Form 8809 by the due date of the return you want to extend.
For example, Form W-2 is due January 31. Likewise, you must file Form 8809 by January 31.
If you are filing Form 8809 to extend your filing deadline of multiple information returns, file the extension form by the earliest due date. Or, file multiple Forms 8809.
You should file Form 8809 as soon as you decide you need an information return filing extension. But, do not file the form before January 1.
If the Form 8809 filing deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the due date is the next business day.
The IRS will not extend your filing deadline if you wait to File Form 8809 until after the above deadlines. To avoid penalties, file Form 8809 before the deadline.
Other IRS tax filing extension forms
Form 8809 isn’t the only IRS extension form you can use to postpone filing.
If you need a small business tax extension for federal business taxes, the forms you use depend on your structure.
- Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
- Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns
File Form 4868 if you own a sole proprietorship or single-member LLC. And, file Form 7004 if you operate a partnership, multi-member LLC, corporation, or an S Corp.
Tax-exempt organizations must file Form 8868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization Return, for a tax filing extension.
Individual taxpayers can also file Form 4868 to postpone their Form 1040 filing deadline.
Keep in mind that filing extension forms doesn’t postpone when your tax liability is due.
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This article has been updated from its original publication date of May 22, 2019.
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