October 16 tax deadline creeping up on extension filers

October 10, 2017 : Teresa L. Clark

The countdown for filing 2016 tax returns has “restarted” for taxpayers who submitted an extension to file before the April 18 midnight deadline; their returns are now due by Oct. 16. Millions of taxpayers seek more time every year, and as the April deadline for filing 2016 tax returns neared the IRS estimated that more than 13 million taxpayers would submit an extension to file their return. So why do so many people request more time to file?

“One of the things that can keep taxpayers from filing by the April deadline is not having the documents they need to file an accurate return,” said Jackie Perlman, principal tax research analyst at The Tax Institute at H&R Block. “When taxpayers don’t have the appropriate documents to report all of their income and support all the tax credits and deductions they are entitled to claim, they could end up filing an inaccurate return and underpay taxes or even pay more than they owe in taxes.”

Because document management can play a role in taxpayers’ ability to file an accurate return, organizing tax-related documents is critical. MyBlock offers secure and safe storage, no matter how taxpayers file. When the information is uploaded, it can be used by the client to use DIY products or the client’s tax professional to prepare their return.

There’s no extension to an extension, but…

Typically, the extension deadline is Oct. 15, but because that is a Sunday this year taxpayers get one extra day. Most taxpayers who got an extension must file by this slightly extended extension or they will start accruing the monthly, 5-percent, failure-to-file penalty on taxes due. But, because of Mother Nature’s recent activities, the IRS has stepped in and given special consideration to victims of some natural disasters.

This year, IRS relief applies for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria who filed an extension; individuals and businesses in the affected disaster areas have until Jan. 31, 2018 to file their Oct. 16 extended tax returns. The eligible taxpayers are in counties throughout southeast Texas, the entire state of Florida, the entire state of Georgia, all municipalities in Puerto Rico and the three main U.S. Virgin Islands. Taxpayers whose ZIP code identifies them as living in one of these disaster areas are automatically eligible for the additional time to file their return. For more information, check the IRS disaster site or contact H&R Block at 800-HRBLOCK.

Any taxpayers who want help filing a tax return to meet the October tax deadline can call 800-HRBLOCK or find a local H&R Block office online.

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Teresa L. Clark

Teresa L. Clark

Contributor

Teresa L. Clark came to H&R Block in January 2010 after working as a civil servant for more than 13 years. Since that first tax season she has written blog posts and talking points, edited content of all shapes and sizes, facilitated media interviews for the experts in The Tax Institute at H&R Block and supported the DIY team. Clark has a master's degree in integrated marketing communications from the University of Kansas and is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

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