Income Tax Extensions: Common Misconceptions

When it comes to filing and paying your taxes, you can never have too much information — and tax extensions are no exception. There are several myths surrounding income tax extensions, but is here to set things straight. Here are some common misconceptions about tax extensions:

1. Tax extensions are rare… Everyone else files their taxes on time.

Contrary to popular belief, tax extensions are actually very common. In fact, the statistics tells us that about 10 million taxpayers file tax extensions every year. Not only does the Federal government offer tax extensions, but State governments provide them as well. Extensions are easy to request and available to any taxpayer who needs more time to file.

2. I can’t get a tax extension because I don’t have a good enough reason.

Whether or not you have a personal excuse for getting a tax extension is irrelevant because you don’t need one. The IRS does not ask for an explanation as to why you’re requesting an extension. All you need to do is complete and submit the tax extension application (Form 4868 for individuals, or Form 7004 for businesses) by the proper deadline and you will be granted an automatic extension.

3. I’ll need to hire a tax professional to help with my tax extension.

It’s easy for anybody to apply for a tax extension, especially if you choose to e-file your tax extension. An Authorized IRS e-file Provider like can help you electronically submit an extension request in under 10 minutes. Our easy-to-use online application takes you through the tax extension process in 3 easy steps. And if you have any questions, our dedicated Support Team is here to help.

4. I might be ready to file in July, but I’d have to wait until October.

A tax extension gives you more time to file, but that doesn’t mean you need to wait until the extended deadline (October 15 for individuals) to file your return. You are allowed to submit your tax return at any time during the extension period. You can still even file your tax return by the original deadline (April 15 for individuals) if you so choose. A tax extension is designed to give you that extra time but you are not forced to use it all.

5. A tax extension will increase my odds for being audited by the IRS.

Don’t fall for this one! A tax extension will not trigger a tax audit. In fact, the opposite is actually truer. If you get a tax extension and then file your return in the early fall, you’re more likely to be excluded from the audit pile. This is basically because the IRS has already filled their quota during the height of tax season (March-April). Therefore, you may be able to escape the harshest IRS scrutiny by leaving your tax return out of the main stack and filing a tax extension instead.

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