If You’ve Flaked On Tax Prep, Here’s What to Know About Getting an Extension

The only nice thing about doing your taxes: Unlike work assignments that you’ve put off to the last minute, with your tax return, you can always just ask for an extension. And with taxes, that extension will automatically be granted—no questions asked or creative excuses needed! It’s like a reminder that even the IRS has a secret warm-and-fuzzy side. Except… not really.

The tax extension application still has a little line where you fill in how much you owe in taxes—and they still expect to see that money by tax day. “The most important thing to know is that an extension is NOT an extension of time to pay, just the time to file,” says Kristen Keats, CPA, owner of Sherwood Tax & Accounting in Sherwood, Oregon. “So if you think you might owe money with your return, you’ll still need to send in payment now.”


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