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Filing for an extension isn't without perils

Published on 4/7/2016
Written by: Paul Bogdanoff,CPA, Stacia Getz, CPA

Yes, the federal income tax filing deadline is slightly later than usual this year — April 18 — but it’s now nearly upon us. So, if you haven’t filed your return yet, you may be thinking about an extension.

Extension deadlines

Filing for an extension allows you to delay the filing of your return until the applicable extension deadline:

  • Individuals — October 17, 2016
  • Trusts and estates — September 15, 2016


However, the filing of an extension does not extend the time for the payment of any tax that may be due with that return. Tax should be paid with the extension request as outlined below. Remember, if the tax that is due with that return is not paid with the extension, then the taxing authorities have the right to deny the request for extending the return and assess a late filing penalty as well as a late payment penalty.


An extension may be electronically filed or you may mail the extension request to either the IRS or the state taxing authority.  In today’s world, with more and more people working in several states, remember to file an extension in every state that may require a tax return.

The perils

While filing for an extension can provide relief from April 18 deadline stress, it’s important to consider the perils:

  • If you expect to owe tax, keep in mind that, to avoid potential interest and penalties, you must (with a few exceptions) pay any tax due by April 18.  Tax payments may be mailed into the IRS and your state taxing authorities or paid on line. Be sure to indicate the tax period, the tax form and your social security number on your check or online payment.
  • If you expect a refund, remember that you’re simply extending the amount of time your money is in the government’s pockets rather than your own.


A tax-smart move?


Filing for an extension can still be tax-smart if you’re missing critical documents or you face unexpected life events that prevent you from devoting sufficient time to your return right now. Please contact the tax team at Bogdanoff Dages and Co., P. C.  if you need help or have questions about avoiding interest and penalties.