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Jean   Murray

I Don't Owe Taxes - Can I File After April 18? And Other Tax Extension FAQ

By March 24, 2011

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You still have plenty of time to file your business tax return, but you may be considering filing an extension application.  Here are some common questions about tax extensions.

I don't owe any taxes. Do I have to file by the tax due date?

The IRS says that even if you don't owe income taxes, you must still file your small business and personal tax return by the due date (April 18 in 2011).  You can file an extension by April 18 if you will not be able to complete your tax return by the due date.

If I don't get my taxes filed by the first extension due date, can I file a second one?

No. You only get one six-month extension.  Remember, you must pay your taxes due by the original due date.

Do I have to provide a reason for requesting an extension of time to file my business taxes?

Nope. You can just file the extension. The approval is automatic. But the IRS does reject extensions if they find errors or if the taxpayer information doesn't match their records.

How do I file for an extension with my state? Does the federal extension application count for my state as well?

Each state that requires income taxes handles extensions differently.  Check with your state's taxing authority (state department of revenue or other similar title) to learn about the process for filing an extension for a state tax return.  Or ask your tax preparer, or check your tax software, if you have the state version.

I will be on vacation on April 18. Can I file the extension when I return?

File the extension application before you leave.  The deadline for the extension application is the tax return due date. The only exception to this requirement is for people who are not in the U.S. on April 15, but being on vacation doesn't count. (See IRS Publication 54 for more information.)

I need an extension on a corporate tax return.  Is the filing the same as for personal returns?

The request for extension for corporate tax returns is Form 7004 and the extension is for six months, but don't forget that December 31 year end corporate tax returns are due March 15, so the six months ends September 15, 2011.

More information on Filing an Extension for Your Business Taxes

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October 16, 2012 at 7:00 am
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