Well, it’s crunch time. Your return is either done, or you’re scrambling like mad to get the return done, or calling your tax professional with last minute changes. Here is a fun look at the top 6 reasons why you should not file for an extension this year.
- You’ve just returned from Spring Break and need to get your adrenaline pumping again by rushing to make this artificial filing deadline.
- You enjoy the stress of frantically searching for last minute items in order to complete your return.
- You prefer not reviewing your tax return before submitting it to the IRS.
- You want to increase your chances of you or your preparer making an error or missing a valuable tax deduction. We all know that extraordinarily long hours, lack of sleep, and high levels of stress make for highly efficient tax return preparation and greatly decrease chances of errors.
- You want to increase your chances of an IRS audit. Some professionals believe that the IRS makes audit selections earlier in the filing season, making your return more likely to be audited the earlier you file.
- You have secret cameras in your tax preparer’s office and plan on having a watch-party as last minute returns are being frantically prepared.
There are many reasons why the IRS has an automatic, no-questions-asked policy of extending your tax returns by 6 months. So if you need to file an extension, go ahead and do it. If you work with a tax preparer, many do not charge for filing a simple extension; we don’t charge and there is no IRS fee. Just don’t forget, the extension is for time to file, not pay. If you will owe when the eventual return is filed, you will be assessed penalties and interest based on the amount underpaid. If you think you might owe, send in an extension payment to the IRS and your state to avoid or minimize these penalties.
Steve Trojan, CPA is owner of SMT & Associates, Inc. (www.smt-associates.com), a Crystal Lake IL based tax and accounting firm. He specializes in tax and accounting issues affecting small business owners, as well as individuals with IRS and Illinois tax problems. For more posts about IRS problem resolution, see our website www.illinoistaxhelp.com.