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Need More Time to File Your Tax Return? Act Fast! by Adam Slavin, CPA


Posted on April 03, 2017 by Adam Slavin

With the 2016 federal income tax filing deadline coming up soon, individual taxpayers have a short window to estimate whether or not they will need addition time to meet their filing obligations. Those individuals who do need more time can request an automatic six-month filing extension, as long as they do so before April 18, 2017.

Contrary to popular belief, filing extensions are not reserved solely for procrastinators. Rather, there are a large number of taxpayers who routinely file for extensions, including securities traders and/or partners/investors in pass-through entities such as S-Corporations.

While a filing extension will give taxpayers until October 16, 2017, to submit their tax returns, it does not delay the deadline for which they are responsible for paying their tax liabilities. As a result, individuals will need to estimate their tax bills as accurately as possible and make a payment to the IRS by April 18 or risk a tax penalty, which can be 10 times more costly than not paying on time.  Taxpayers who cannot pay in April the full amount of the taxes they owe, may request assistance from the IRS to work out a payment plan.

There are three groups of U.S. taxpayers who may receive from the IRS automatic filing extensions without having to ask for it. They include victims affected by federal disaster areas, members of the military who are on duty outside the U.S. or serving in a combat zone, and U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work outside of the U.S, and Puerto Rico. The length of these extensions vary based upon a taxpayer’s individual circumstances.

About the Author: Adam Slavin, CPA, is a senior manager with Berkowitz Pollack Brant’s Tax Services practices, where he provides tax planning and consulting services to high-net-worth individuals and closely held business. He can be reached at the CPA firm’s Boca Raton, Fla., office at (561) 361-2000 or via email at info@bpbcpa.com.