The Truth About Tax Extensions

April 10, 2017

The tax filing deadline of April 18th is looming. If you have not completed your 2016 tax returns it’s time start thinking about filing an application for extension of time to file for your tax return. The tax system is shrouded in mystery and our hope today is to lift some of the dense fog from the dubiously titled “tax extension” through a series of friendly Q & A’s. Here goes!

What is a tax extension?

  An extension is actually quite simple. Typically, your personal tax return is due on April 15th of the following year but due to the 15th falling on a weekend and Emancipation Day being observed on the 17th, the deadline this year has been pushed back to April 18th. An extension simply takes that due date and moves it back six months to October 15th. You can file any time before that date, but no later than October 15th.

Unfortunately, no. An extension only changes the due date for the filing the tax return. Any tax owed must still be paid by the original due date of April 18th. If tax is not paid by April 18th the IRS will begin assessing late payment penalties up to 25% of the tax you owe.  

Can I file later AND pay later?

Will it cost me more to file an extension?

  No. You will still pay the same amount of tax on April 18th whether or not you file an extension. Your bill from Lewis Group will not change. Filing an extension allows us extra time to be thorough and to make sure we get every deduction possible included on your return. In that sense, filing an extension could actually save you tax dollars by allowing Lewis Group the time we need to take advantage of potential tax savings which may have been missed had you rushed to file your return before April 18th. As you know, your bill is a flat rate, not an hourly one, so allowing us to spend more time on your tax return doesn’t cost you a dime.

Filing an extension does not change your likelihood of being audited by the IRS. You may still get audited, but it won’t be because you filed an extension.  

Will I get audited if I file an extension?

Can my extension be rejected?

  No. The IRS automatically grants a six-month extension if you file for one. As long as you file your extension before the original due date the IRS will automatically move your due date out to October 15th. No questions asked.

You don’t. Lewis Group will file it for you. If your return has not been completed by the April 18th deadline, we will file an extension for you. If you owe any tax, we will send you payment vouchers to make sure you send in your payment before the deadline. Please be sure to follow our instructions carefully to ensure your payment is properly received by the IRS.  

How do I file an extension?

What if I have more questions?

Taxes are complicated. We get it and we're here to help. Please contact our office at or (360) 896-8221 and any one of our friendly Lewis Group staff members will be more than happy to help answer your questions.

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