How to File a Tax Extension for Your 2013 Return

The following article was recently published by the MSCPA.

filing a tax extensionThe tax clock is ticking, and the countdown to April 15 has begun. If more time is needed to file a 2013 tax return, the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) says filing an extension may be the best choice.

Most taxpayers can request an automatic six-month tax return filing extension, but Massachusetts CPAs caution that doing so only gives more time to submit a return, not to pay taxes.

File For Extension Electronically or On Paper
To request an extension, taxpayers can use a single IRS form, Form 4868, Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return, for an automatic six-month extension until October 15, 2014. The request for the extension must be made by the original due date for the return – April 15, 2014.

If an extension is filed on paper, the recently revised Form 4868 must be filed and mailed to the address shown in the form’s instructions.

An extension may be filed electronically, including using the service of a CPA. In either case, a copy of the return must be handy for taxpayer verification.

An Extension to File Is Not an Extension to Pay
What hasn’t changed is that the extension is for filing only – not for paying your income tax bill. If you fail to pay on time, you’ll face penalties and interest charges.

Paper extension filers should send a check, payable to the United States Treasury, along with Form 4868, to the address shown in the form instructions. Taxpayers who file for an extension electronically can make payment by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal from a checking or savings account. Form 4868, which should be used as a worksheet, includes instructions for making credit card payments.

Be sure to keep the acknowledgement number you receive; it serves as proof that an extension has been filed. There is no IRS fee for credit card payments, but some processors may charge a fee.

Consult a CPA
If there are questions regarding the process of filing for an extension, consult with a CPA. When it’s time to file, he or she can help prepare the tax return as well. If you don’t already have a CPA, we’d be happy to work with you. Contact our office at (508) 830-0007.

About cozbycpa

Heather L. Cozby is a CPA on the South Shore and Cape Cod. The managing partner of Cozby & Company, LLC, Heather has the resources and experience necessary to provide quality professional services on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. She specializes in tax planning & preparation; audit, review & compilation services; management advisory services; bookkeeping; and accounting. Her unique niche is in working with homeowners’ associations and condominium trusts, advising with rental real estate, and providing outsourced financial consulting for mid-sized companies. She is more entrepreneurial than most accountants, and offers the best of both worlds - providing the services of a larger firm while retaining the ability to connect with her clients on a personal level.
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