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Time is Ticking Away on your Tax-Filing Extension by Adam Slavin, CPA

Posted on September 06, 2018 by Adam Slavin

If you requested an extension to file your federal income tax return six months later than the traditional April deadline, it is now time to start preparing. You do not want to rush through the preparation process to meet the upcoming October 15 filing extension deadline, especially when considering that most mistakes occur when taxpayers wait until the last minute.

Following are some of the most common errors that will delay the amount of time the IRS will take to process a tax return and/or issue a refund to a taxpayer.

  • Entering an incorrect Social Security Number (SSN) or forgetting to enter a taxpayer’s SSN;
  • Misspelling the names of the taxpayers, their dependents, the names of their employers, etc.;
  • Entering incorrect bank routing and account numbers that could delay or impede a taxpayers’ receipt of a tax refund via direct deposit;
  • Claiming the wrong filing status (i.e. claiming married when the taxpayer is single);
  • Claiming credits and deductions that the taxpayer is not entitled to, or forgetting to claim tax attributes that could reduce taxpayers’ liabilities;
  • Making math mistakes, which is most common when taxpayers prepare their returns without the help of qualified tax accountants
  • Forgetting to sign a tax return
  • Filing with an expired Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
  • but won’t allow any exemptions or credits. Taxpayers will receive a notice explaining that an ITIN must be current before the IRS will pay a refund. Once the taxpayer renews the ITIN, the IRS will process exemptions and credits and pay an allowed refund. ITIN expiration and renewal information is available on IRS

The sooner taxpayers begin gathering documents and meeting with their accountants to file their federal income tax returns, the less stressful the process.

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

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