With only a couple weeks to go until the April 18 tax deadline, procrastinators might be starting to feel a little anxious about their taxes. If this sounds a lot like you, then filing for an extension might be just what you need.

Each year nearly 8 million Americans file for an extension on their taxes. This represents nearly 8% of all taxpayers in the United States. It’s important to remember that just because you file a six-month extension it doesn’t mean you have an extension on paying any taxes that you might owe. You’ll need to pay the estimated amount of taxes you owe no later than April 18 to avoid penalties.

Filing a Tax Extension

What happens after the extension is filed?

Once you have filed your extension you will have until October 16, 2017 to file your actual return. That doesn’t mean your tax preparer should wait until the extension deadline to file for you. ATBS completes taxes in the order that tax organizers are received. We are dedicated to completing your taxes as quickly and accurately as possible.

For those of you that want to file your own tax extension you can download form 4868 from the IRS website. Simply fill it out, send it in, and make sure you have paid the estimated amount that you will owe for 2016.

If you are a current ATBS customer and have not sent in your tax organizer or did not get it in before the February 27 deadline, then ATBS is going to automatically file an extension on your behalf.
If you are not currently an ATBS customer and would like to have us file an extension for you, we can do that. The cost is $50 and that would apply to your tax preparation fees.

If you would like to have your return expedited ahead of the others, then you have the option to pay an additional charge to have your taxes done faster. For $125 we will expedite your return and have it filed within 5 to 7 business days as long as we have your completed tax organizer.

Are my chances of a tax audit higher?

There are a lot of rumors out there about what can trigger a tax audit. Some people you talk to claim that filing an extension is one of those triggers. That is not the case. The reality is that the IRS is pretty tight lipped about what they are looking for when they decide to audit an individual.

On the other end of the spectrum some people believe that if you file an extension you have a lower chance of being audited by the IRS. By the time the October 16 deadline approaches they have already reached their yearly quota for audits. Is that a true statement? No one is really sure since it’s purely speculation.

What we do know is that each year 1 in 100 taxpayers will receive a tax audit. The odds go down to 1 in 250 if you earn less than $200,000.

Just remember that as we get closer to the tax deadline ATBS is here to help you through the process. If you have any questions make sure you call one of our tax professionals at 888-640-4829.

This article was originally featured on ATBS.com.

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Sean Bryant

Sean is a graduate of the University of Iowa where he received a Bachelor's of Arts degree in economics. After beginning his career in banking, he found his love for marketing. Before arriving at ATBS in 2014 he spent time working for two different technology startups as well as his own freelance marketing company.

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April 15, 2014