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Tax return extension FAQ

Q. What is an extension?

A. An extension gives you more time (usually 6 months) to prepare and file an income tax return.


Q. Is it normal for a tax preparer to file extensions?

A. The average tax preparer in the US files extensions for an average of 25% of their clients. 


Q. Do extensions give me more time to pay tax that I owe?

A.  No. Extensions only extend the time to file tax returns.  Any tax due must be paid by the original filing deadline.


Q. What if I don't file a tax return or extension by the due date?

A.  You may be subject to late filing penalties. Contact your tax preparer as soon as possible.


Q What should I do if I miss the filing deadline and don't file a return or extension on time?

A. File your tax return as soon as possible to minimize the potential for late filing penalties.


Q. What does my tax preparer need from me to file an extension for me?

A. You may owe tax. In order to make any payment accurate, your tax preparer needs as much information as possible to estimate your final tax liability and to determine if you have tax payments to make. An accurate payment will avoid penalties and interest.


Q Why would a tax preparer file an extension if he had all my tax documents and data in time to prepare a return before the deadline?

A. Many tax preparers have more returns to prepare than can possibly be prepared before the initial filing deadlines. A seasoned tax professional knows that it’s more important to file an accurate, well prepared return after the initial filing deadline than to rush to prepare a return and possibly make a mistake that will lead to penalties, interest and frustration.


Q What should I do if I'm not going to get a K-1 from my business or extension before the deadline for filing my personal tax return?

A. Notify your preparer as soon as possible and request an extension be filed.


Q. If an extension is filed for my tax return, how long do I have to file my final tax return?

A. Most extensions provide an additional 6 months. Check with your tax preparer to confirm.


Q. If I file an extension, am I more likely to be audited?

A. There is no objective evidence to support that a return is more likely to be audited if an extension is filed.


Q What if I owe money with my extension but can't afford to pay?

A. Contact your tax preparer to receive guidance on how to best manage payments over time.


Q. Will my tax preparation fee be higher if my preparer files an extension.

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