In some situations, a tax extension is absolutely necessary. On the other hand, some people file for an extension every year even if they don’t actually need one. While this is not a good habit, it is something that taxpayers are able to do. Of course, there are many legitimate reasons for filing an income tax extension – not just because you think you have the right to more time.
Here are several reasons why you may need to file a tax extension:
1. Out of the country
If you are not in the United States when your return is due, you will probably need a tax extension. Not only can you get a six month extension, but the IRS may grant you two additional months if you explain your situation to them.
2. An emergency has taken up all your time
You never know when an emergency (personal or financial) will pop up and force you to drop everything else. If this happens during tax season, you should file a tax extension. It will give you six more months to file and, more importantly, you won’t have to worry about organizing your taxes during this difficult time of your life.
3. You can’t get in to see your tax professional
If you wait too long to schedule an appointment with your tax preparation professional, you may find that he or she is booked up through April 15th. Rather than filing your own return (which is risky if you don’t know what you’re doing), you can request a tax extension. When the madness of tax season dies down, you can then visit with your tax professional and take things from there. With the extra time, you may even be able to find some more tax credits or tax deductions you can claim.
4. You need more time to gather the appropriate documents
Are you having a difficult time finding all the receipts that you accumulated during the past year? Did you misplace your W-2 or 1099 tax forms? While you could rush to file your taxes with what you have, there is no good reason you should take that risk. Rushing through your tax return often leads to mistakes ― and those mistakes can be costly.
5. You are lazy
Some people request a tax extension every year because it’s so easy, and because they are too lazy to get on the ball and file by April 15th. Although this is a bad habit to get used to, a tax extension will consistently give you that extra time to file.
* * * *
Whether or not you apply for a tax extension is your decision. If you are facing any of the issues above, an extension may be just what you’re looking for. Remember, it is better to take advantage of a tax extension than to file and pay late.