IRS Simplifies Filing for Tax Extensions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Thursday announced changes simplifying the process of filing for extensions for businesses, partnerships and trusts. Approval of Forms 7004, 4768 and 8892 is automatic, so the IRS will issues a response only if the request is denied. It is important to note that an extension of the time to file is NOT an extension of time to pay. Taxpayers will owe interest on any past due tax and may be subject to a late payment penalty if payment is not made by the due date of the return.


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Business taxpayers seeking filing extensions only need to file the revised Form 7004: Application for Automatic 6-Month Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Form 7004 grants taxpayers an automatic six-month extension from the due date of the return without the need to file intervening forms. Taxpayers must file Form 7004 by the due date of the return in order to automatically receive the extension. Previously, only corporations could request an automatic six-month tax filing extension. All eligible non-corporate business taxpayers had to request an initial three-month extension and, if more time was needed, then had to request another three months.

A single six-month extension for filing Form 706 may be requested, on or before the due date on the Estate Tax Return, using revised Form 4768: Application for Extension of Time to File a Return and/or Pay U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping transfer. Previously, taxpayers needing an extension had to make multiple requests in order to get the maximum six-month extension.

Taxpayers seeking an extension on filing Form 709, without extending Form 1040, should use revised Form 8892: Payment of Gift/GST Tax and/or Application for Extension of Time to File Form 709. This Form may be used to request an automatic six-month extension. In addition, a new tear off section, Form 8892-V, includes a voucher for paying a gift/GST tax liability.

Simplifying, consolidating and standardizing extension forms is expected to reduce taxpayer burden and will also reduce taxpayer confusion and error about filing the correct form.

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