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My spouse is deployed on active military duty. If I file an extension, will I pay any penalties?

It depends on your spouse’s situation.

If you qualify due to a special situation, you might receive an automatic deadline extension for:

  • Filing your return
  • Paying taxes
  • Filing a claim for a refund
  • Taking other actions with the IRS

To receive the automatic extension, you must file jointly and 1 of these must be true:

  • Your spouse is serving in a combat zone.
  • Your spouse is serving in a contingency operation on deployment outside the United States. He must be deployed away from his permanent duty station.

If this applies, your deadline to file is extended for 180 days after the later of:

  • The last day your spouse is in a combat zone or the last day the area qualifies as a combat zone
  • The last day of any continuous qualified hospitalization for injury from service in the combat zone

You won’t pay penalties or interest for failure to file a return or pay taxes during this extension period.

However, if this special situation doesn't apply, you’ll need to both:

  • File for a regular 6-month extension.
  • Pay the estimated amount of tax by the April 17, 2012, deadline. Otherwise, you might be subject to penalties and interest.

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