What is a Tax Return Extension?

You may have heard the term "extension" used when it comes to a tax return. Maybe you've even filed your return "on extension" in the past. So what is an extension? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like - it's extra time to file your tax return. That's not a very useful description though, so let's talk about what an extension isn't:

  • An extension is not a late filing.
  • An extension is not extra time to pay your taxes.
  • An extension is not a "red flag" or any kind of audit risk.
  • An extension is not a bad thing!

I hope that clears up a few common misconceptions. Now that we've covered what an extension isn't, let talk about what it is:

  • An extension is an on-time filing after the original due date.
  • An extension is automatically granted when requested.
  • An extension is a way to have more time to gather your tax data, finish your accounting, and track down loose ends. 
  • An extension is necessary when important data is missing by the original due date of your return
  • An extension is relief from tax deadline-related stress!

It is inevitable for every CPA that some number of clients each year must be put on extension; either there aren't enough hours in the day for the accountant to finish all the work by the original filing deadline, or because the client is missing or waiting on important data. Communication is key between your CPA and you in order to convey why the extension is necessary and put a plan in place to finish the return as soon after the deadline as possible.

Here at Chris Arena, CPA, PLLC, I work diligently to complete my clients' work before the early deadline whenever possible. In the event that this is not possible and you are asked to "go on extension", I want you to know it's a compliment! It means that I feel you are a valued client who is flexible and understanding. l appreciate your willingness to do so and I will prioritize your work after the 15th deadline to complete your return on a schedule that works for you.

Give me a call today to schedule your free consultation!