My CPA says, “Extend.” What does that mean to me?

Contryman Associates, P.C. prepares more than 4,500 tax returns annually. Most are completed by April 15. Each year, however, we do put some returns on extension, completing them by extension due dates.

This year will be no different. For one reason or another, we will extend some of our clients’ returns . . . maybe even yours.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the national professional organization for all Certified Public Accountants in the U.S. The AICPA understands that every CPA firm extends some tax returns and developed this brochure (click to open full brochure)to explain the process of extending a tax return and answer possible questions you may have. Below we have listed some basic information on extending tax returns:

Why is Extending Good for Me?

Extending your return allows you and your CPA to review your tax reporting in a calm and less-pressured time frame. If you receive late or discover missing information after the return has been filed, an extension can spare you the hassle, expense, and added attention of an amended return.

If I extend, will the IRS classify my return as “late”?

When you have properly filed for extension by April 15 and you file your return by the extended date, your tax return is considered on time.

What if I owe taxes for last year?

The extension grants you additional time to file, but no more time to pay last year’s taxes. You must submit relatively complete data to your Contryman professional well in advance of April 15 so he/she can estimate the potential tax liability that will need to be paid with the extension.

Am I more likely to be audited if I extend?

Extending will not increase your likelihood of being audited. However, filing a return that is incomplete, has several estimates, or which you have not had time to review carefully before signing, is more likely to increase your audit risk.

I delivered my data to my CPA on time – why should I extend?

If your Contryman professional has recommended that you extend, it is likely because the overall volume of data as well as possible planning opportunities for your return, or the possibility of missing data or items which are not yet complete, indicate that it is more effective to allow the extra time before filing your return.

Give your Contryman professional a call if you have questions on extending your return or any other tax or financial matter.